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Honour the Child

Blog Archive

BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Wednesday, 22 October 2008
This summer we went to our local wildlife center (rescue and rehab) and Rowan got to pet the skunk (named Flower~ she is de-scented due to her epilepsy which caused her to spray herself and skunks hate their own smell, go figure!). We heard all about the incredible power of skunk spray ~ their range and ability to shoot in a direct line or to spray a wide area. I was deeply impressed by their power to defend themselves.

Flash forward to Sunday night. I had a long day and it was nearly midnight. Andy let the dog out on the long line to do his business. Dog charges animal. Husband perceives animal to be skunk. Skunk sprays. Husband perceives skunk smell. Husband was at the above wildlife lecture.

What does husband do?

Let the dog INTO the house, of course!

Yup.

Dog proceeds to roll on carpet, couches and bolt upstairs to roll on our duvet.

I immediately smelled something~ like perm solution, and when husband moseys upstairs, ask him about it. Oh. No. Husband insists dog is clean. (And here is where my dumb moment comes in, overshadowed as I was by the enormity of my husbands bad choices). I stick my face into dog's fur and come up gagging and skunked.

Oh. No.

The blessing was that the dog had been shaved down this week and that the skunk seems to have chosen dispersed general attack instead of targetted spray. Poor dog had to spend his first ever night outdoors (in crate in garage) and had I a crate large enough, husband would have done the same.

Seriously. You see skunk, you smell skunk. Don't you assume skunked?

Thank goodness the baking soda/ peroxide/ dish soap solution does work.
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
I am not very Hyena.
Without a little one in diapers I rarely participate in a hyena feeding frenzy.
You will need to check out Hyena Cart (scroll over the upper left hand side where it says 'Why Hyenas') to begin to understand the hyena mentality by which items become hugely popular and in high demand at this 'collection of earth friendly shops' (that is the tag line, I don't mean that sarcastically with the little ' ').

Anyhoo.
I am not very hyena.
I rarely stalk and I tend to miss the big trends.
But not this time!

We are the proud owners of a Hudson Hat ~ a brilliant little knitted number developed by KY Baby Knits~ perfect for using up all those wool scraps you have hanging around. The pattern is available for license and our hat was knit by Jessica at A Ray of Stitches. It just called to me ~ whimsical, colorful, natural (all wool) and suits Rowan to a 't' (also not sarcastic LOL~ I have a huge peeve with people using the 'quotes' around phrases~ I mean, who wants to take a ride in a glass bottom 'boat' to name one of my favourite examples! I mean, is it a boat or not?!).

Anyhoo.
Focus.
We love our Hudson Hat and should get a good 2-3 years wear out of it. If only Rowan would stop tying herself into it with intricate knots in the darn thing! I want one for me, now.
Saturday, 18 October 2008
Our Lolly Lila has arrived.
What, you may ask, is a Lolly Lila?
Here is the description from her creator, Sarah, also known as Freedom Rainbow:
This Lolly Lila is a little nervous. She is about to audition for a spot in the famous musical production, Put Your Clothes in the Dryer, by famous improv dancer and singer Rowan Tree.
she is reserved for BTRT!
She's got a good shot at it! she happens to be Rowan Tree's favorite colors, she has a vintage dancing skirt, she has created her own dance prop bangles for the auditions, and best of all she is the sweetest, silliest, most loveable and capable improv dancing puppy ever to set paw on stage!

If she gets this part, she is a shoe-in for the up and coming release of the magical sequel, Put Your Clothes in the Washing Machine. This is an opportunity of a lifetime, and she is ready to travel to Canada and start a new life to realize her big dream. She also tells me she is lonely for a little mommy, around the age of 3, to take good care of her and help her with her moves..... maybe Rowan Tree herself will be the one!!! a dreamer can only hope.....

Her build is waldorf inspired and made from all natural, ecological materials. I say waldorf inspired because of the materials and also because her head is carefully sculpted in clean carded chemical free wool and strong hemp jewelry twine and then stitched and covered with a recycled felted cashmere sweater "skin".

Hereyes are hand painted acrylic Suncatcher eyes (etsy)- these eyes have so much depth and detail. She has merino wool felt lids which are well sewn down and tacked to the interior hemp twine on the head. Her body is also stuffed with eco wool and is made from a recycled felted 100% lambswool sweater! i have carefully handsewn everything including her cute little tail and paws!!! Her hair is an amazing artyarn and roving from one of etsy's very best - chimera.etsy.com . She comes with a vintage dancing skirt and some great little improv dance bangles.

She's a vegetarian, but needs a lot of protein due to her disposition, so hopefully you have protein powder for shakes!!! She is skilled with mantras and super sharp in shastra, but really loves climbing trees, improvisational theatre and dance, kundalini yoga, tai chi, and telling stories, being read to, and fetch.
And Lolly Lila arrived at our house yesterday. She is amazing!

Not only is she supremely talented and beautifully made, she is made especially for Rowan with her orange and red colours and dancing props. The inspiration for the dancing persona can be found here and here (the Put Your Clothes in the Washer/ Dryer videos, seriously hilarious).

Here is her arrival in pictures:
Lolly Lila hesitantly approaches her idol... Lolly Lila is nervous, she has heard about these show biz types, and Rowan Tree seems to be sleeping off her latest performance (in the company of Puppy, who makes Lolly Lila even more nervous, as Puppy is RTs right hand dog):
Rowan wakes up to find herself eye to eye with her new protege. You can see the smile in her eyes, Lolly Lila heaves a sigh of relief and smiles back.
The girls get to know one another, finding themselves to be kindred spirits:And then... they dance!And Lolly Lila Avatar Shakti Puppy Princess is a shoe-in for the part and is declared not only to be a great 'La-la-Lie-Lie' but Puppy's new best friend, which is a big, big deal in Rowan Tree's world! Today LL received jumping lessons and played leap frog with RT and Lydia the frog. She is one happy Lolly Lila, and Rowan is one happy little girl!It is wonderful to watch a new friendship blossoms and many thanks to Sarah for sharing her talent, her reiki and her undertstanding of the spirit of one one dancing little girl!
Thursday, 16 October 2008
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
Finally, after the great syrup debacle of 2008 we are underway producing some Earth Belly goodness! The syrup, I may explain later when it is not so frustrating!

We are so thrilled to have such a high quality product to share with you~ all natural, organic and fair trade~ candy we can all feel good about eating!

One of the services we offer is the creation of custom candy~ perfect for birthday parties or events, ideal for shop promotions and giveaways, too. We include custom labeling in all of our custom orders, and we will work with you to choose a shape, size and flavour to suit your needs.

We recently filled an order for a little girl with a health condition that requires her to eat ginger~ not the favourite flavour of very many kids! So we made some custom lollipops, made with fresh ginger, and flavoured them with mango to complement the ginger. They are sweet and delicious. We then packaged them with custom labels just for her, including the name of her own imaginary business (Angry Bunny LOL , what a cool kid!). What a fun order!

So drop us line and see what Earth Belly can do for you!
Saturday, 11 October 2008
What is it about the season of dying that is so compelling?

The colours are dizzying this year, with a wet summer and long, crisp fall, the show of colours on our hardwood forests are simply stunning. Breathtaking in the very real sense~ you turn a corner and gasp at the brilliance of reds and oranges and yellows~ the true colours which have hidden behind their chlorophyll clothing all summer long. The rowan trees are dripping with berries (which folk wisdom would tell us means a hard winter). The sun is still warm enough to chase your jacket from your back as it pushes back the morning frost. A few summer flowers are bold enough to continue to bloom.

Today, we were serendipitously included in a drive to an art studio by the lake. Not our island-less lake, but one nearby with true Northern Ontario character. As soon as we stepped out of the car you could smell it. The beginning of the decay of the glory of fall. The smell of leaves on the ground. Combined with sunlight and watercolours, sculpture and pointilism and the wonder of a three year old touching alabaster for the first time, it was an intoxicating combination.

It was the kind of day that makes you want to make full use of the word 'revel'.

This is my favourite season, and my favourite part of my favourite season.The balance has tipped towards winter but we breath out 'not yet' as we breath in the scents of falling, failing autumn. It is a season of dying, but maybe it appeals, calls, excites, because it is the season that reminds us of life's rhythms~ growth, abundance, loss, rest and renewal.

For autumn really isn't about dying, and the decay isn't about loss~ it is about new life, as surely as spring will follow winter again, and there is beauty in every part, even the dying.

(Photos taken today)
Friday, 10 October 2008
I love to share the good news about fabulous finds on Etsy and I want to link you up with Lorilee, also known as Mama Kopp. Lori (and sometimes her boys) creates the most whimsical, wonderful, gentle little wooden critters, gnomes and goodies.

We started with some wee birdies in a nest. Then came the customized Super Daddy (how perfect for a daddy for Christmas?!) and this week Lori made us a custom order of teeny animals for our playscape. How stinking adorable are these four little woodland friends?!

Take a twirl around her shop and I bet you'll be bringing home a little treasure or two, too!

Lori is a member of the Natural Kids Team on Etsy.
Wednesday, 8 October 2008
Remember that scene in Gone with the Wind where Scarlett arrives at and surveys the rail yard after the Battle of Atlanta~ thousands of soldiers laid out like rail ties... some of them were dummies being moved about by the extras beside them.

Anyhoo...

When I lined up my Nativity Set people tonight to gauge my progress I felt like I had my own epic movie scene unfolding! I am closing in on the end of the project, with some Wise Men and the angels left to complete this month. Whew!
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
In Their Hands is a congo (group shop) which is re-opening today at noon! It is a seasonal shop featuring all handmade toys for the holidays. It was so much fun to participate last year and we are looking forward to another great and creative season.


So, if you are looking for quality handmade holiday (or any day) gifts for kids, take a peek! The shop stocks on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month at noon, and you can browse any time.
Sunday, 5 October 2008
This weekend I decided to make something for our family. I realized that I am continually creating for others, but very little stays in our home either for our enjoyment, or for posterity. So, fighting a cold and feeling rotten, I curled up with some roving and needles and made my first playscape. It was so much fun, I doubt it will be my last!

I wanted to create a centerpiece for our nature table, something that could help us visualize the transitions of seasons. I naturally gravitated towards a tree, and began by creating a tree with a pipe cleaner armature (only the second time I have worked with an armature, I am glad I did!). Then I needed a setting for it, and using recycled wool as a base and stream, I created a forest setting for our tree.

Rowan wanted a cave and I wanted a nice big rock to sit on by the stream for watching the water, seasons and my own reflections float by. We collaborated on the stepping stone idea! There is room under the roots for gnomes to live and we are looking forward to decorating the playscape each season~ wildflowers and falling leaves, pumpkins, snowfall, hibernating bear, fairies and Christmas lights were all discussed as Rowan played with play dough and I felted the final portion today.

This was a real labour of love, and while there are things I would do differently next time, it was awfully nice to make something for us to keep!
Wednesday, 1 October 2008
I thought I'd share some very sweet little bunnies from the Natural Kids Team at Etsy.

It is probably better that I leave these rabbits with their creators, anyway, since my pet rabbit track record is pretty poor. It just never goes well.

Like Emerson, the little boy bunny I needed to get castrated because he turned vicious and started chasing people around the apartment (student days)~ including my then 8 year old sister who hopped up on a chair and then the kitchen table, and the rabbit jumped up right behind her! SO rather than castrate him, I sent him to a farm, where, in short order 'he' got knocked up and had babies. Think Monty Python... 'run away! run away!'

But I digress. I am sure these bunnies are good.

Adorable bunnies from Fairies Nest:How darling! Momma Blackberry and babies from Hues of Nature:A little bunny baby~ I actually have one of these in my office at work ~ from WoolComesAlive:And look at this little one from OritDotan~ don't you want to squish it? (that is a different bunny story... just kidding!) ~ it is actually a good size bunny at 6" long!And lastly, this is Bethie~ she has a sad story and needs a home! Created by Woolies:To find more cuties, just search "naturalkids team" at Etsy and add a favourite tag, like bunny, to you search!
So my daughter could attend the Serendipity School House preschool! Doesn't it look simply wonderful? I am sitting here yearning to be there.

We don't have many (and if you don't want to be on the highway for hours each day in our long winter~ any) educational options in our community. That is not to say our school isn't a good school, only that we find ourselves wishing we had alternative options for our daughter for the early years when tenderness and space to bloom are required.

As it is, next year will see the introduction of all day every day Junior Kindergarten~ meaning, if we choose to participate (JK is optional), Rowan would be days past her 4th birthday and going all day every day to school with one teacher who is responsible, alone for 15-20ish 3 and 4 year olds. The only way they can function is conformity. And that just doesn't sit well with my soul.

I have very few regrets about our choice of community, but the educational opportunities is one of them. I had been formulating a plan towards doing some part-time Montesorri for Rowan during the better travelling months, but with my husband's job loss, that one is out!

So the Serendipity School House (which I encountered in doing a custom order of playsilks this month) will continue to call to me, and I will continue to dream and watch for the path for our child and family (I'd love to say 'work for' but I have tested the waters on this one and the cheese stands alone around these parts!). So we will see!
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