Thursday, March 26, 2009

Nico and the Quest for a Bike Pump

... or Life with a Two Year Old

This evening we realized that the boys wooden balance bike tires needed air and that our bike pumps weren't the right size, so we loaded the boys and bikes into the stroller to walk over to our local bike shop...

"Nico, do you want to ride in the stroller with Matteo?"
"No, I PUSH it!"

"I'm sorry the bike store is closed, we'll have to fix your bike tomorrow"

"It's OK Mommy and Daddy, I love you"
(now Daddy, carry me home)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Mother Earth and the Root Children, The Arrival of Spring

At last it was really Springtime!

Mother Earth opened the door. Then out into the lovely warm spring sunshine came the stately procession of beetles, ladybirds and root children with their blades of grass and flowers

Old Father Sliffslak-Slibberslak came slowly creeping along...
"Ha, there you all are! Welcome to the big forest", he called to the children
The little violet looked at him shyly from her safe place behind her tree.
She had never seen such a creature before!

In the flower meadows, the root children were having a wonderful time. They danced nimbly in the warm sunshine.

Happy Spring!

Many, many heartfelt thanks to the wonderful Mel Orr from Etsy's Haddy2Dogs for creating such magical and beautiful figures for our nature table!

...and of course, Sibylle von Olfers for her beloved story that inspires us 100 years later

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dance of the Bathtime Bunny

I was changing Luca's diaper when I heard a singin' and a bouncin' behind me...

The Bathtime Bunny was hoppin' on the bed and dancin' with his shadow!

Oops! Someone saw him dancing so the bunny got shy ;}

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The New Puppenstube!

I wanted to introduce you all to one of my favorite people, Christine Schreier, the proprietor of The Puppenstube. As many of you know, The Puppenstube is the only US online retailer for Buntspechte wooden toys, but what you may not realize is that it is also home to some very magical dolls that Christine creates with much love and joy.

Christine has been doing handcrafts since she was a small child in Germany. When she became a mother she made her first soft bodied doll for her son's first Christmas, which is still around today- 33 years later! When he enterred the first grade at San Francisco Waldorf School, she learned how to make a "Waldorf" head for the doll and through the years has developed her simpler, less complicated way of creating them. She has shared this knowledge of others over the past 15 years with her Waldorf doll making workshops.

This is one of Christine's pretty little flower children that has been featured in Living Crafts Magazine.

Christine was the first person in the US to sell the Buntspechte toys ten years ago after she convinced the small company during a a trip back home to Germany to entrust her with the sales of the beautiful figures across seas. My boys love the gorgeous farm and woodland animals and I have been so grateful to Christine for carrying them. I know a large part of my fondness for these figures is knowing we have received them from such an incredibly lovely person!

I first met Christine at a Waldorf school festival a few months ago and I have to say how blessed I feel to now call her one of my friends. She has this generous, beautiful spirit of so much joy and light. I love our email exchanges and the wisdom she imparts so lyrically.

One of my favorites of her dolls

Christine has recently launched the new Puppenstube site and I wanted to invite you all to visit it! She can now upload photos of the beautiful dolls she has stocked and you can also see what Buntspechte figures she currently has available. For the month of March, she is also offering 10% off purchases with the coupon "March" as a celebration for the long awaited completion of her site.

I hope you all will join me in wishing Christine much success with the new Puppenstube!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Oh yeah, baby

Isn't that picture AWESOME??? Aunt Elisabeth let me borrow one of her knitting books and it had this fabulous photo in it. (The book for those of you who are interested is Sunset Knitting Techniques and Projects circa 1978). The dude's sweater actually says "Birds Fly Over The Rainbow" and he's rockin' it hard.

Yes, I finally did get signed on to Ravelry... yay! Thanks to everyone who offered to be my friend there so I don't feel like a total loser :). I could spend hours there, like I need ANOTHER internet addiction *insert eyeball roll*. It's like Facebook, another time sucking vortex I have to be careful about. I've been chasing the kids around so much these past few weeks that when I went to cast on for a new project (a scarf, nothing to get too excited about it), I realized that I couldn't do it at all, so I pulled out this handy book. I love that styles change but the directions on how to cast on are still the same then as they are today!

So I'm going to get my groove on this weekend and get those needles clicking again....

What are you, my dear friends, doing?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My Luca Bean Lately

Little Luca Bean hasn't had much face time here lately since most of the time he's strapped onto me... but here's what my 3 month old Bean has been up to lately

Luca swats at his baby gym

He holds his head up for tummy time

He smiles (and melts his mama's heart)

Rock on, my lovely little Bean!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Handful of Gratitude

On a rainy afternoon recently, I was feeling pretty blessed to have certain people in my life and thought it would be fun to make something for them to show my gratitude, thus came about the idea of gratitude soaps.

The basic materials I used were a few bars of soap, felting wool , the plastic mesh bag our tangerines come in, felting needles and cookie cutter forms.

I took thin wisps of wool and wrapped them around the soap going in different directions

Placed one in the mesh bag and rubbed vigorously in very warm water for about 10 minutes to felt the wool around the soap, changing the water when it started to cool down. The kids really enjoy "helping" with this part for all the bubbles they get from the soaps :)

I did a quick rinse with cold water to "set" it and let them dry for a day

I placed the cookie cutter form on the dry soap and let Matteo stab at the wool, adding a little bit at a time. Nothing screams "I'm a daredevil!" like letting your 3 year old use a felting needle next to your fingers.

and lastly, I used tiny bits of wool to add detail

Sending thoughts of gratitude to everyone!

xoxo, Marina