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.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Going back to Sunbridge

in a few days I am getting on a plane (due to lack of space I get to fly first class seats with my frequent flyer miles......sooooo cool, I have never sat in first class....hee hee) 
And off I go, back to NY and training in waldorf Handwork and applied arts. 

Pictures to come.

If I don't write for awhile, please come visit in 3 weeks......I know that is soooo long!   But I will have a whole new boat load of crafts (with my own slant) to share with you. 

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Fiber art snob

So I have become a fiber art snob.....I signed my girls up for a fiber art camp out here in NM for the week...low and behold it is no more than an attempt at fiber art but totally lacking in natural material and projects with purpose and challenge.......another moment of reflection...thank you Rudolph Steiner for your many teachings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I volunteered yesterday...thinking that I would learn some new stuff....

they started the day with circle and I was all happy thinking that we would do a morning verse and a song and introduce each other etc....
No such luck...just "Hi my name is....and this is my 1st year attending fiber arts camp and I will catch 3 grass hoppers today and feed them to the chickens"

Ok so circle didn't go as I would have liked...that's the kids were split up into 3 groups. each group were brought to a station. the only cool station was the table looms....soooooo cool! but there were only 7 looms so the kids had to wait and wait and wait and wait!!!!
the other stations were projects that were very "public school" quality. plastic, synthetic without purpose.

I tried to bring in some little projects and I tried to show finger knitting, finger weaving and celtic double finger looping......NOPE the teachers looked at what I was doing and said it was too hard........WHAT? you have 6th graders in this group! my 4 year old was able to do all the projects they we dropped out of fiber art camp.

too bad...what a bummer! the location was awesome. they rented a farm space and there were really cute animals theres. baby sheep, baby goats, baby chicks

Monday, June 16, 2008

visiting other waldorf schools

I think I am one of those people that likes to visit other waldorf schools and take pictures of them...kind of like those people that like to visit churches all over that too funny!

we drove an hour to get to the Taos waldorf school and what a wonderful drive!!!! right along the river, through the! it must be amazing when it is snowy.

The school is set right at the base of a beautiful mountain range....I took pics but I can't get the pics onto this you will have to wait.

They have a yurt as the Eurythmy room and all around is farm land.....cows, horses, veggies.......

and the town is sooooo sweet with the best toy shop I have EVER been to.....its an alternative toy shop.....any waldorf families dream toy shop...its called Twitter and they had free art classes and a whole play ground with a canopy of trees and comfy chairs for moms and dads to sit in while you watch your kids run around climbing rope/ tube course and mushroom play structure.
It was a very smart business move to have a play area as part of the toy shop....the thing is you have to walk through the toy shop to get to it. so kids always want to buy stuff. they even have a bath room with free diapers so moms don't have to leave if they run out of diapers.....
Moms just bring lunch and play for hours. the play area is clean and the kids take off their shoes and run around....the play structures are all shoe free zones because of the foam/ trampoline sturctures

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

June 11 the birth of a little golden dragon

8 years ago I was in labor and 6 hours at home with a doula, 2 midwives my husband and my mom ...into the world I birthed a baby golden dragon ....  she is so proud of being year of the dragon. 

since we are in New Mexico and away from my computer I do not have pictures....but I will tell you that she was a small blond bundle....from that moment....from that life changed and it could never go back........I was born into motherhood and my eyes opened and the world changed. 

This morning we went to early morning sadhana (an early morning group yoga class)  and there we were embraced by all the many people that were in our life when my daughter was born...she was born here in NM where we have many friends we have known for decades...

 in our yogic lifestyle we spend 40 days in our home with the new baby....only close friends and family members who will be apart of the child's life (for ever basically) are allowed to visit...we also have a savadar (a female postpartum doula) who helps to cook and clean the house during this time.  for me it was my mother...she came out and stayed with us...
So our first appearance into the world from our quiet space at home was early morning Sadhana where the rest of the community is able to see the new family and welcome them into the world.  It was a very powerful time 8 years ago and today as we relished our yogic experience, the room started to sing happy birthday to my daughter...   my husband and I were in tears as they sang to our first born. she was so beautiful as she walked around and handed out cookies and excepted all the hugs and best wished from so many friends. 

I feel so blessed to be here....

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

adding more to first grade

The top picture is of the 1st and 2nd grade curriculum...this is a picture from Sunbridge... you can see the cat and the pouch there

First Grade verses
These are my hands as you can see, this is my right and this is my left. I can stretch them out wide and pull them in close. I can reach them up high and hang them down low. I can shake them up and hold them quite still. These are my hands they do as I will.

Two jolly grandfathers meet in the lane
Bow most politely , bow once again
How do you do, and how do you do, and how do you do again
Two first graders meet in the land etc
Two tall farmers meet in the lane etc
Two shepherd girls meet in the lane etc
Two wooly sheep meet in the lane etc

Our time for now has ended. Our hands may come to rest. We thank our hands both left and right, for helping us to do our best.

My fingers are so sleepy, It's time they went to bed. First you Little Baby, Tuck in your tiny head. Ruby Ring, now it's your turn. Next comes Toby Great. Peter Pointer hurry Because it's getting late. Let's see if they're all nestled, No! - there's one to come, Move over please and make room For Tommy Thumb.
Blessings on your day 1st grade boys and girls.

4) Leaning how to cast on
Under the fence, catch the sheep back we come and ON we leap
5) Making a square. Cat Pattern
Cast on 16 stitches. Knit until the square can fold into a triangle.

6) Casting off
Knit one, Knit two, leap frog sue .

7) Knitting Bird. Cast on 14. same as Cat pattern but sew in a triangle . Sew on orange felted beak.

Cast on 16 stitches. Knit length of 2 squares (able to fold into 2 triangles)

Flute Case Pattern:

8 color changes (your choice in how this is done).
This current pattern is for size 10 needles

Cast on 40 stitches.

1) Knit 2 ribs (4 rows)

Change color and leave a 2 inch tail on the end.

2) Knit 2 ribs ( 4 rows)

Change color again and leave a 2 inch tail on the end. Make sure that you only change color when you have the tails at the tip of the knitting needle. This will make a fridge on the bottom of the flute case.

3) Repeat for 8 color changes. (This could mean 2 colors changing back and forth or 4 colors changing around etc)

4) After the 8th color change, cast off and sew the case up using the whip stitch. That means we use a yarn needle and sew in a spiral. Leave the top unsewn.
5) 2 methods to finish. Either knit a flap with a button or have your child make a twisty twirly and gather it at the top (a draw string) like their handwork bag.

6) The flap:
Cast on 15 stitches. Knit 5-8 ribs and cast off. Sew on a button.

Knit a pouch. Cast on 16 . Learn to decrease
Cast on 16 stitches. Knit length of 2 squares (able to fold into 2 triangles)

Under two fences, catch the sheep, back we come and off we leap.
Decrease the pouch by decreasing one stitch each row.
Ends with a triangle
Get a button to finish it.

Monday, June 2, 2008

1st grade

I wanted to share what I did this year in Handwork with all the different grades
I will be changing some things next year...but just to share with those who are curious...

I will start with 1st grade...above you can see the books I used...they are a must!

we started our year with a story about a local brother and sister who were going to their grandparents farm.... 2 hour drive from the city to a town we locals are all familiar with for its clean air, farm land and snow.

on the farm they run into sheep...from here the story introduced sheep, wool fleece, spinning on sticks to make yarn and what we can do with yarn.

from there we made our own knitting needles.

I feel I need pictures to properly share this with to come....

what you need

sand paper
cement ground
bees wax

we made the knitting needle ends from sculpty clay

next we learned how to make a slip knot.
"Here is the lake...see the snake...grab his head and pull the thread." (pics to come)

Then we stared to finger knit a rainbow chain...this became the draw string for their handwork bags. (I pre made 24 bags in pink ) Pink and red are the colors for first is the color of the womb.

then we finger knit a golden chain that they wore home

Next we learned how to cast on....we cast on for about 2 classes.

Then we stared on our first project the CAT

cast on 14 stitches and knit a perfect make a square take the bottom right corner and pull up to the top left corner... when the square make a perfect triangle...then you are done.

More info to come..............................

Flute case
Rainbow ball

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I just found a wonderful Indian fabric etsy store. I want all of it!!! maya, maya, maya!