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.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Thank you ladies for your suggestions!!!!!!!

I got 2 great suggestions to make a Koala Bear and a Camel for my homework 4 legged animal.....I will post them as soon as I am done.....I am just working on the Koala's ears at the moment.

I have made so many animals in the past so it is wonderful to have new suggestions.

I will also post my cross stitch homework....this should also help those who are doing cross stitch in their own school.

Fun fun fun......

Honolulu Waldorf School Kindergarten

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Homework for my teacher training program at Sunbridge

It's time to start thinking about doing my homework. we meet up again in February......I hope it snows!!!!!!!!!

So maybe you can help me think of something to make:

I have to make an animal but it can't be a horse, lamb or a lion. we already did those.

So I have this blue yarn.....this is what it looks like at the moment.

It has to have 4 legs..... It's feeling like its going to be an elephant. ......kind of boring..... what else has 4 legs and could be blue.........a hippo? any ideas? I'll make it just shout out an idea.

2) I have to think about and then write a description of my final project.......MAKING AN ARTICLE OF CLOTHING ......from scratch.

AHHHHHHHH, what should I make? it has to be really cool and something that I would actually use.

How about I spin yarn and knit a skirt and then felt it................that has the potential to go drastically wrong.......ahhhhhhhh. But I would love to make that!

what to make, what to do?

Any ideas?

For those who want to know what program I am talking about here is the link

Its the Handwork teacher training at the threefold craft studio in the Sunbridge college campus


Friday, December 26, 2008

3rd grade painting

my 3rd grader is painting this piece.
There is a typo in the video....sorry, for some reason I can't go back and edit it.

live feed

I am totally amused by my live feed ..... do people actually come to visit this site that often...are they really people interested in crafts or are they just surfing (most likely) and are they even human? I mean it could just be a computer programed to check different sites randomly and often. and WOW they are from all over the world.....and is that why they don't leave comments.

They may not leave comments because they can't speak English or maybe they see the site and have nothing to say....or maybe they don't want to say anything.

hmmmmmmm....I am totally amused!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

happy holidays

sending you a very happy season of love and light.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

TO do this painting you just need to get your paper wet (top and bottom) use red, yellow, green, blue and indigo paint. The painting of the poinsettia is very basic. just petals here and there like a star. after that you can let it sit for about 10 mins and then come back to it to add the blue background ( that is where my film starts)

1st grade craft...this is not me by the way

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

home made secret santa gifts

My girls and I made these fun secret Santa gifts this weekend.
The first picture is of our
Natural monsters......meaning stuffed animal monsters made from all natural material

FUN!!!!! they loved this.....we made a bunch
wet felted candy canes
Roving, pipe cleaner and wool yarn.....wet felt and you are done!

we were having fun making these secret Santa gifts for friends at school.

Friday, December 12, 2008

7th grade movie

Okay this is not really for early childhood....only because a bolder comes falling out of the sky and smothers the gnomes.

7th grade made this playscape, they made the dolls and they made the video and I put the video on u tube for them to see.......yah I know, I did it for them.....they thought it was hilarious .

So here you go!

1st grade cats, 3rd grade art and 8th grade art

first grade cats ready to go home
1/2 of my first grade and their cats
my daughter and her class (3rd grade ) painted the spiral walk candle which is in an apple
8th grade charcoal
8th grade industrial picture. Sorry it is side ways.....for some reason it won't stay turned.
Here is an 8th grader drawing industrial landscape in charcoal

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

spiral walk

here is a link to another blogger (blueberry cottage) who took some really nice shots of their spiral

Monday, December 8, 2008

Saying Goodbye t o 8th grade

Today I had 1/2 of my 8th graders say Goodbye to the Handwork room.

The other 1/2 of the 8th grade will join me after the winter holidays. I swap with woodwork.

I actually teared up. The kids said they were sad to go. We stood in a circle and we looked around the class. They all had their handwork bags, lesson books and the projects they finished, wrapped up in their arms.

Sniffle, sniffle.....where is my tissue box?

I really like this 8th grade....maybe that is why it is so much more emotional for me....last year's 8th grade was a very different class.

I still have them for Art class and we just started our 10 day I will see more of them....

Just sharing the moment with you...........

My curriculum to date

Here is an update on my curriculum this year....

This happens to be a great place to write stuff down so that next year I can come back and view what I did.

1st grade. Cats (all but one child is done with the cats)
Birds ( most are on the plant dyed yarn birds)
Flute case (3 children...almost 5 are on their flute case)(1 is almost done)
I have 1st grade 4 times a week. I split them in half so really I get them 2 times a week. 45 min periods.

2nd grade we resanded our tools and knit a mouse. we leaned how to braid.
Then we knit a lion.
All but 5 children are still on their lion....most are on the head of the lion or are sewing them up.
Next is the owl (learning to pearl.)
Next is the Gnome. Only 2 children are on the gnomes.

3rd grade We crocheted chains
we crocheted a soap bag....I still have one boy on this soap bag......I wish I had an aide for him.
We plant dyed yarn
We crocheted recorder cases with the plant dyed yarn and with Brown sheep yarn
1/4 of the class is still on their recorder case
We crocheted puppets for stone soup puppet show
7 children have stared to weave on the lap looms.
I have them for a double period once a week

4th grade
all but 4 are on their handwork bags. most are on their loops (which is the very end of the bag project)
2 are making needle books
2 are doing cross stitch
5th grade we made new knitting needles.
They plant dyed wool to make horses
I still have one child who is not done with their horse.
5 needles to make hats, fingerless gloves and wrist bands.
Double period
I have one week left with this class. They will switch with the woodwork class

6th grade we started with making a mouse from wool felted fabric.
A gusseted animal.
Next they chose an animal that is in need of help (going extinct) and they drew it and made a gusseted pattern. Then we bought an adoption certificate for one of the animals. This group chose a seal.
Next they made marionettes. we made puppets for 2 shows. we have done one show and will do another next week.
next they made table puppets (star children and mushroom children)
They ended with making sock monsters. Free design.
Double period 1 time per week

7th grade Wet felted balls for pin cushions
Embroidered pencil cases for the 2nd grade
Felted people
Wet felted hat (only 2 children finished this project ) and I didn't feel I knew enough about how to instruct them to have the rest of the children do this. My advanced handworkers did the hats.
A felted picture
needle felted gnomes
group project.....Felted playscape.
double period 1x per week

8th grade We had a lesson the sewing machine history
made Lesson books writing down the history
They sewed math jewel bags for 1st grade
they sewed a 8 piece tomato pin cushion
using a pattern they made hats
Making up their own pattern they made mittens
They sewed quilted pillows
Free style making clothes.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

another painting

I actually found this really challenging to paint. Maybe I was not in the mood...I don't know. In the end I felt like I would rather have painted a horse, which is always a challenge, than paint the Tag Mahal!
But I filmed here you go!

8th grade did very well with this piece.....

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Check out this u tube video

I want you to look at this u tube video at fairies nest

Faculty painting and my Chalk board drawing

I led a faculty painting...the same one that is in the tutorial a few posts was very I took a picture. I take pictures for the camera is always around.

This Saturday we have our winter fair and I was asked to draw the curriculum board for the curriculum room. The Curriculum room is where all the classes have a table to display their work. New parents or anyone really can walk in there and a teacher is posted in the room to answer questions.

So....point is...I had to draw this picture and it was my first time drawing on a black board....well...real drawing anyway. I found it very challenging. It takes lots of layers and color accents and shadow etc.....the chalk falls off if you rub the wrong direction!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

a day in the handwork room

Here you will see children making cats, birds, handwork bags, cross stitch, puppets from Cinderella and stone soup and last a felted playscape.


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Class review time

So last year this time I had our school mentor come in to review my class (and all the other subject teachers and class teachers etc) . Well it's that time again........dhm dha dha dham......its always so nerve racking to have someone come and stare at you for the SINGLE PURPOSE OF FINDING SOMETHING TO IMPROVE . I should be more positive about this and except the guildance. "note to self......welcome all comments, negative and positive, as a way learn and grow."

Well I had 8th grade for my review (she will see me 2 more times) and they were their usual selves; Chatty, jumpy, silly and always extremely creative. So its the end of the semester and almost all the children have completed their projects, so its time for free style creations......So yesterday they thought up things to make and they made their own patterns
3 kids made boxers
2 kids made vests
2 kids made skirts
and 1 made leg warmers

When I announced that it was time to clean up (we have a double period for this class)
they all shouted "NO"!!!!! "I don't want to leave"

I was so proud of their defiance :)

Anyways, the mentor looked at me and said, WOW what a popular class you have.

Thank you thank you

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Waldorf painting tutorial

This is a winter wet on wet tutorial.

I will be painting this with faculty and with 7th grade. It can also be taught to classes 4th - 8th.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

6th grade Marionettes

We did this puppet show for the 3 kindergartens and the rest of the 6th grade and some faculty, so there was about 65 people in the room. it was great!
we will do the second half of this group in 2 weeks. This one was Rama and Sita and the next is the Native American Cinderella story (the invisible one)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

U tube

These two videos are my 7th graders. They are surprisingly good at film editing. It really shows how you just can't keep technology away from kids these days.
I had them in Handwork today and they made me PROMISE I would go watch the video they made on U Tube...So I did and now I will share it with you.

The next u tube is a video on verses and songs. I liked the story fairy song. I will be using that tomorrow for our puppet show the 6th grade is putting on for the Kinder classes.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I got an award!

“This blog invests and believes in ‘proximity’[meaning that blogging makes us 'close' - being close through proxy].”

Thank you Cadi!

I have never received an award before!

its written in a language I don't understand. But I am guessing it is in Spanish, but I could be wrong. I imagine that it was created by some lovely person many many miles away from me, who loves to blog and wanted to create an award to express how very thankful we all are that we can share information in such a unique way.......... very cool!

Did you know that in the time when settlers were exploring the wild west (like in my area) families would build houses on their land (100-1000 acres of land) and they would have no neighbors to talk to. So they would write letters to people. People who new nothing about them. and one of their favorite connections was writing to catalog sales people. They would write them lengthy letters and order some random thing like a spool of thread and put in an 8 page letter. The sales people would write back and kind of become Penpals with these settlers. ofcourse they would have to wait weeks to get a response back cause the department stores were in NY and well that's a long buggy ride!

So now I must pass on this award to people who I love to be 'close to' through the blog world and who I am inspired by and love to share with.

I pass this award onto these 5 ladies.

Julia at
Kewal at
Mai and Poppy at
Fairies nest at
Shelly at

Monday, November 17, 2008

This week in the handwork room

First off.....I juggle A LOT OF STUFF!!! A LOT OF CLASSES and A LOT of kids
Here is a window into my world....

This is how I set up my class for 1 through 5th grade. I have 1/2 of 1st grade. they are on the floor. then I go straight to my next class, so I have their work set on the chairs. the orange bags are 2nd grade. I go with the color of their grade.
8th grade quilted pillow and fleece mittens....we are going to play in snow in a month and they need mittens......we don't get snow in our area....we have to drive 2 1/2 hours to find it
6th grade marionettes. we have 13 in this section...we split handwork with woodwork. I get the next 13 after winter break. the puppets are almost done!
sewing machines covered for the majority of the week. this is a corner of the Handwork room
3rd grade stone soup crochet puppets. we have 26 kids in this class....its going to be lots of villagers!
6th grade lantern walk charcoal picture
7th grade creation picture...we had fun with this one

8th grade
The first graders have decided that this is the terrible knot gnome. I keep moving him around class. I made him last year with 7th grade....he actually is Rumpelstiltskin
1st grade flute case. 8 different colors. 2 rib rows per color

8th grade quilted squares

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Winter finals

I am in college at the moment and taking 2 teaching elementary Ed classes. It's finals right now and I have studied for 3 hours today and now am taking a here I am writing on my blog. Hubby took kids so the house is quiet.....ahhhhhhhh. I have some tea and a bar of Paul Newman's chocolate next to me....So, surfing through the Internet I cam across this site....

3rd grade weaving ideas

I also like this seed collage

string art

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

lantern walk waldorf art

check out this Chinese lantern experience....soooo cool. I wish we could do this at our school

As lantern walk is right around the corner. I started doing paintings and drawings with my girls at home. Here are some pics that my girls have helped to create. The paintings are 3rd grade level and the drawings go with a story(kindergarten level) I told them about Gnomes chasing darkness away.
They will be told the real story of Martinmas on the actual day next week. But for now I am surround our art wall with pics that we did this week.
we all paint and draw...they don't want to show their pics to you today...maybe tomorrow they will share with you.
I of course love to you have to see mine :)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

random pics from this week

drawing with my preschooler
our current nature table at home. My preschooler set it up....You can't see it very well. but the gnome is holding a lantern
Storming of Bastille. french revolution
storming of Bastille
this is my picture. Its Napoleon. 8th grade is learning the French Revolution
the 8th grade teacher painted this one. She is so cool I really like her. it's so wonderful when you find teacher's you bond with.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008



I cried I was so happy

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Pumpkin Festival and penny faire

animals at our school

this is one of the stations. Little jack Hornier sat in the corner......
Early childhood pumpkin patch

To begin the day the ENTIRE SCHOOL 200+ kids carves pumpkins

At our school we have a Penny fair in the early childhood where they dress up in magical theme customs and the parents set up fairytale stations for the children to come to. they are all fairy tale or nursery rhymes. we have Rapunzel in her tower (this is a parent) who has long hair (braided yarn) and the children put a penny in a bucket that is attached to her hair and she pulls it up and she puts a gift in the bucket (a shell, a jewel etc) and down it goes back to the child. the pennies are collected for UNICLEF . There is the sleeping giant, the plum and pie nursery rhyme, and some others I just can't remember at the moment.
any way it it lots of fun for them, they have about 10 stations that they go to to collect gifts at and than there is a big feast and they all eat together.....lots of fun!

The older children carve pumpkins and then go on a parade starting from the 8th grade and walking through each class and as they pass through the class, the next class follows and picks up at the end of the line , we end up with a very long line. The parade ends with an assembly and a performance. I had my Handwork 8th grade boys put on a skit and they ended with an explosion of party poppers into the was fun and entertaining.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I got a spinning wheel!

A family at school just donated a Spinning wheel to the handwork room!!!!!!!!! score!!!!

But here is the bad news.....I had this spinning wheel for not even an hour when my 6th grade class comes into the room and one of the children walks over to the spinning wheel (behind me) and starts to jump sideways on the wheel. I hear a crack......I turn around quickly and say, "you did not just crack our new spinning wheel did you?"
He did not break the wood but he broke the leather strap that connects the peddle to the wheel. I was so upset, I actually wanted to cry...for about 5 seconds...that's an eternity for a teacher.
To explained to him that he was not invited to use the wheel, he needs to always ask a teacher before using a new item in a room, it doesn't matter what room he is in or who he is with. He should never start to jump on something that looks like a tool for a class.
It took me another 5 or so minutes before I was able to really calm down....I was so upset and this class had never seem me upset before.
so I told him he had to fix it with his dad.

After school another father came into the handwork room and actually fixed it with me...we used thick wool felt to make the strap.

All is well, but there was a very big lesson for this child to learn......DON'T touch tools in the handwork room unless you are invited to first or you ask to touch them....SECOND don't climb on every fun looking object you see, it might be VERY expensive!

Good news is I was able to take it home and will begin spinning....once I am done with this post :)

AND our 9th grade will be able to use this next year......can't wait!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Mrs. K, you smell like cookies"

This is a first grader who is on her second project. she did a cat and now she is doing a blue bird. This yarn was plant dyed by the 3rd grade. it is Brown sheep untreated bulky single ply yarn with indigo dye.
The Knitting needles are dowels from Dowels on demand
I think it is size 5/16th?
Julia is that right?
1st grade rubbing the handwork pumpkin for "handwork luck" .....they are so funny!
4th grade embroidered bags

felted picture from 7th grade
Wet Felting felt for making Renaissance hats. 7th grade

These are 2 of the felted people. its a 7th grade project . the children think of a country they are from and make felted people. This is a sumo from Japan and a Russian. and wet felted balls.

So yesterday while teaching 8th grade sewing, a student leans over and starts to smell my arm, "Mrs. K you smell like a cookie, guys come here and smell Mrs. K, doesn't she smell like cookies." From here I had 5 students come over and start smelling me....very strange experience, my first reaction was to run away from their noses, but I was kind of pinned, so I allowed them to smell my arms. From there they announced that Yes I did smell like a cookie, hence we must make cookies so that they can eat some. This conversation lead to what they could sew that would go with cookies, pot holders, mits, aprons and place mats. How interesting......I guess we will be making cookies one of these days....I do have an stove in my building.