Wednesday, November 4, 2009

WIP Wednesday- Little Furniture

I've been obsessed lately with the look of Waldorf Kindergarten Rooms and how I can replicate some aspects of them into our home.

(I had asked Ivan if we could make the boys playspace look more like a Waldorf Kindergarten and his reply to me totally without sarcasm was "you mean it doesn't already?")

Many Waldorf Kindergartens have these gorgeous lazured peachy pink walls, which sadly, even as forward thinking as Ivan is, he probably wouldn't allow me to do at home, especially in the dining room which is the boys primary play space. What is really striking for me is the use of natural materials as playthings and furniture. So we spent the weekend gathering wood scraps locally to outfit our playspace.

We brought home two of these redwood stumps from a site where there had been some tree removal.

The boys and I had a splendid time removing the bark from the tree. As much as I appreciate the aesthetic of leaving the bark on, redwood bark can be quite messy and houses some little guests that I don't necessarily want also residing inside our home. I used a hammer and a cold metal chisel to loosen the bark and the boys quite enjoyed ripping it off :). We ended up saving the bark that came off in big pieces as the boys wanted to use it for gnome homes.

After taking the bark off, I moved this massive piece of wood onto to our deck to do the sanding... I mention this only because the darn thing weighs over 80 pounds and I nearly threw out my back moving it! I spent a bit of time sanding the jagged surface and edges. The wood was actually still a bit "wet" from being recently cut and I didn't want some of the pieces hanging to dry and splinter. Matteo told me that he thought the grain looked like a rainbow :).

I have a bit more sanding to do and I'd like to put a finish it. A toymaker told me his trick of mixing flaxseed oil and beeswax, coating the wood object and then letting it sit in the sun covered with a black garbage bag for a few days to let the finish bake in. But for now, my Matteo was anxious to use the table for his own tree blocks building


Once it's done, I'll have Ivan move it indoors where I think it can be various things, like a nature table, play table, kids chair or even turn it upside down to be a teeter totter of sorts. I love that this was something free from nature and that it truly can be whatever we imagine it to be....

What are some of you and your childrens favorite natural toys?

Thanks for checking in on my work in progress! I'm hoping that I'll have something smaller (and significantly lighter!) to share next week!


24 comments:

Simple Mama said...

Marina! It's gorgeous! I'm totally going to steal this idea! I love it!

We use tree stumps - bark and all outdoors for the kid to climb on. When the weather turns nicer I'll take some pictures.

Brilliant idea!

lyneya said...

Oh it turned out beautiful!!!

Frontier Dreams (Nicole) said...

Oh so great!! I have been wanting to do this but my DH isn't into woodworking and we don't have sander. must.find.another.way!!!

Jen said...

That is so beautiful!!

Frontier Dreams (Nicole) said...

Oh wait, do you think Ivan would go for you and the boys flying here and making us some? ;)

Lisa said...

This is wonderful. Looks so nice all smoothed out. I have dragged stumps in as is and it makes the biggest mess.

I will try this next time.
lisa

nicola@which name? said...

beautiful, marina! i can guess where you got the stump from! :)
nicola
http://whichname.blogspot.com

lyneya said...

@ Nicole: I tried to get hubby into wood-working and he never seemed to do it. So *I'm* learning! :) I think of it like sewing with wood! ;P

renee ~ heirloom seasons said...

So beautiful Marina! I love it! My girls like to play "Waldorf Kindergarten". It is very cute. Their room is set up as the kindergarten right now. Chloe is the teacher. She says she wants to be a Waldorf K teacher when she grows up. (And she says the school will be on our land.) It is the only thing she has ever said she wants to be besides a midwife. Either one sounds nice to me.

Mama Rose said...

Wow Marina, it really looks beautiful. What a wonderful sense of accomplishment to know that you did that all on your own (not store bought), but together as a family :D Great job mama!

Lisa said...

What a beautiful piece of wood!

Andrea said...

ooooh! where did you get that??? are there any left? not that i don't have enough cool old branches doing nothing in my yard. I doubt i'd do anything as awesome and motivated as that though. we love it!

healinghillary said...

love this. it's been on my list and heart for a while to welcome some stumps into our home. you've now bumped it up on my list a bit :).

thanks for sharing. and love your your LO is already finding uses for it.

peace,
hillary

Nicole said...

What a beautiful idea Marina!
Great job mama, it looks wonderful!

Rebecca said...

Oh, Marina- that looks spectacular!!! What lucky boys! Aurora's favorite natural toys at the moment is simply indian corn. She loves removing the kernels from the cob, grinding the empty cobs and pretending to be a squirrel collecting them for her 'winter stash'.

C said...

Your stump looks gorgeous!

taimarie said...

Beautiful. We have a stump in our livingroom that someone made for our wedding with our names in a heart carved in!It gets lots of play- lately it is the stool for the "drum kit" made from tree blocks!

Super Fun Mama said...

Love it!

Hailey's Beats and Bits said...

lovely! and a great idea...

Dawn said...

This looks very cool... We love Mother Nature's Toy Box and are constantly runnning out to the forest to find items we want for projects and games.
Happy I found your blog... looking forward to exploring!

imakestuff said...

This is beautiful!

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

beautiful!!

bevin Cahill said...

These look lovely. I have some tree stumps that are being under-utilized and this may be a great project for me and my girls. Questions: would you leave them outside once you did all those amazing things to them? I would like to make a little mudroom (a literal one, not an inside one) and have the tree stumps encircle it.
Also, Our stumps are sticky and full of residue (they were from a cut hemlock and are super sappy). How would you get around this with the chiseling and sanding?? Thanks! I could use the advice:)

bevin Cahill said...

I wonder how you would get around stumps that are super sappy and sticky. Any advice to working with those.....?? Thanks!