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Honour the Child

Blog Archive

BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Colour makes me happy.
Silk makes me smile.

I am really trying to stick to my New Year's resolution of working in batches and selling from in stock, and for the most part, it works to reduce stress~ so I have been working on a batch of garlands for spring/ summer.

Favourite colourways, including: Heart of the Rainbow, Heart of the Rose, Morning Mist & Summer Berries.

Each garland measures 18 - 24"+ and is decorated with hand dyed silk ribbon and satin blooms.

Available at Beneath the Rowan Tree after April 5th.
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Our Sheltie puppy is a dream! Sweet, gentle and very attached. He has never so much as chased a blowing leaf. It is a joy to be outdoors with him because he stays close and is attentive and ever mindful of his herd (Rowan and I).

Last fall, we talked a little bit about having him spook the Canada Geese that make a menace of themselves along the lakeshore for our neighbours~ knowing that herding dogs are sometimes used for bird control at golf courses and airports. A few forays along the shore in early evening scared off the geese, but winter came to soon to know if it was effective.

Today we wandered down to the lakeshore (to splash about a bit since the water is at a record low for spring and there is a lot of bare mud and puddles!).As we arrived, there was a blur on my right... Archie off like a shot after the geese on the water (to be fair they were standing as much as they were floating the lake is so low!). My 'never run away' dog was out to sea and we didn't know how we would get him if he got into trouble (brrr! the ice is still out there!)~ those geese are as big or bigger than him!We figured he'd stop when he had to swim~ here he is out standing in his 'field' watching his flock, what a good little herder!
He did come back in, very self-satisfied, at that!Rowan gave him a stern talking to (she was very concerned about her 'little brother'):
And he did stop on each following attempt, returning when his name was called (gosh, he is a good boy!). The neighbours who witnessed his work are cheering him on, and I do believe we will make a point of strolling the shoreline for a while in the evening in hopes that the presence of a diligent goose herding dog will be such a nuisance that the plentiful geese will seek easier, more peaceful shores for their nesting this spring.
And maybe if Archie gets his herding fix on the water he will stop nipping Rowan's behind and following me about the house holding one of my pant legs in his teeth. All. The. Time.
This has been a crazy early spring.
We are all still waiting for Mother Nature to shout 'psych!' and bring back winter.
One of the results of the mild weather has been the very early melt of the lake ice. Generally we anticipate the ice moving out in late April, but it just may disappear by Easter this year, given the warm weather expected this weekend.
This past week brought a rare visitor to the lake, who found a resting place on the edge of the ice behind our house.
Andy managed to catch a couple distance shots as our guest winged away ~ probably feeling a little shy, since phones were ringing up and down the lakeshore telling everyone to go out and see! Poor Baldy didn't realize what a small town celebrity he would be!
Sunday, 28 March 2010
Historical record suggests that the first birthday celebrations emerged in Germany ~ where a 'kinderfeste' (children's celebration) was held on the anniversary of a child's birth. This was marked with candle lighting, feasting and often, with the wearing of a special birthday crown.

Why a crown? Perhaps it reaches back to the earlier tradition of marking the birth day of kings and high persons with parties and feasting and dancing ~ often done in early times in order to surround the leader with people in order to dissuade evil spirits who were thought to prey on them particularly on the anniversary of their birth.

Today, when we mark the day of a child's birth, a special crown may be worn (in the Waldorf as well as other, such as Israeli, traditions) by the child to identify them as the focus of our joy and celebrating!

I have made Rowan a crown each year for her birthday. We also have other traditions in the making, such as telling the story of her birth on the eve of her birthday (as she was born at 1:35 am), a special birthday breakfast and this year we are adding the lighting of a birthday wreath.

I have also begun to make and stock crowns in the BTRT shop as I am finding such delight in combining various felting techniques and fibers with applique, embroidery, beading, dyeing and more! Each one is unique and could be worn for several years, or given as a birthday crown and brought into dressup play throughout the year.

I would LOVE to hear about the birthday traditions in your home! Please feel free to add them to the comment section and I will be using some in upcoming articles, too!
Thursday, 25 March 2010
Kristi is the Mistress of Bamboo ~ she makes the most luxurious and beautiful blankets with hand dyed bamboo velour through her shop : Tickety Bu.

Her line of products include her staple Cuddle Blanket for babies and young children plus the gigantic Cuddle Throw (we have one here that is everyone's favourite blanket to snuggle under all year round) and the Bitty Bu (baby lovey size), Bitey Bu (a Bitty with a Bitey wooden teether), the medium sized Mezzo Bu and bamboo terry hooded bath towels (super absorbant and super pretty, a bath time staple in our home). Prefold diapers, wipes and wash cloths, too (and more I am forgetting I am sure!).

You *need* to try bamboo velour washcloths. You'll never look back!
Next week, Kristi is introducing two new products to her shop.
I want to tell you about one of them... the Silky Bu!

Yep, BTRT silk (silk satin, 12 momme, SO smooth and silky!) hand dyed and paired with matching Tickety Bu bamboo velour colorways to make a 14" square lovey for the wee ones~ plush, soft bamboo velour on one side and smooth, cool silk on the other, a tactile delight! All dyed in professional dyes for long life (and safe chewing!).
Be sure to take a peek, and don't miss the stocking on April 1st at 9 pm.
Monday, 22 March 2010
This little print called out to me.
Now to find it a home in our home!
'Dreaming' print of multi-media collage by Cabin + Cub.
Sunday, 21 March 2010
We are not in a shortage situation as far as fabric goes.

However, in planning a spring garland/ banner I wanted to add a dimension better suited to a four year old's interests and abilities than rotary cutting and sewing machine!

So Rowan and I spent a couple happy, sunny hours choosing paint colours to match our fabric prints and creating our own personalized prints to add to our garland-to-be.

We worked as artists, robots and as fabric designers for the hippest monkeys in the jungle (I made a flashy spotted print for all those zebras who are bored with stripes) and had lots of giggles and lots of learning.

We are working towards a banner along the lines of THIS ONE from the Purl Bee, but you could create your own fabric for any sort of project! Ours are intended to be sliced and diced for our garland.

Materials:

  • heavy quilting cotton in neutral shades (prewashed and pressed to create a smooth stamping surface)
  • acrylic craft paint + fabric medium (for anything you plan to wash/ wear) OR fabric paints
  • foam stamps or other stamping devices (potato? apple? sponge?)
  • paint brushes
  • iron for heat setting (if using fabric medium)
  • palette, damp cloth for clean up
As we plan to use leftover fabrics from a skirt I made for Rowan last month:We decided to work with turquoise, ballet pink, yellow, lilac and spring green paints ~ keeping your palette to 3-5 colours will greatly increase your liklihood of liking your finished product, especially with young artists!

Working with a four year old did mean a palette clean up and fresh paint at the halfway point to save us from an overwhelming number of brown prints.
Work with a single layer of fabric (in case of bleeding through).
Excess fabric can be rolled up, or otherwise covered to prevent accidents and unwanted splotches.Coat each stamp thinly with paint in your choice of colour(s).
Press firmly, do not wiggle or roll the stamp.Hold fabric in place with one hand while you pull the stamp up and away with the other.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!
Rowan making her monkey print:My Monkey print drying:
Allow to dry (if you keep your paint thin on the stamps, this won't take long).
Heat set your paint if you have used a fabric medium (if you plan to use your fabric for wearables, do let it cure 24 hours before heat setting).We'll share our finished banner once we get it done!
Saturday, 20 March 2010
Daydream Believers is a blast! We are having so much fun making and sharing our positive tees through Hyena Cart and Etsy. We have added new designs each month and will continue to add as we are inspired by childhood to do so...

We currently stock 6 colours in sizes 2T - 14 (youth) and baby onesies. We can also special order more colours and some fantastic organic bamboo (made in Canada!).

We have some designs for mama, too!

Come and see...


Thursday, 18 March 2010
Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern; it will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that - one stitch at a time taken patiently and the pattern will come out all right like the embroidery. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes

Today, Rowan made her first stitches. Sure, she has tried lacing cards and the like, but with her recent requests to *sew*, largely motivated by her desire to get into my colourful embroidery floss, these were her first honest-to-goodness stitches.

We used 10 count Aida cloth (for cross stitching) as it has a nice open weave (burlap would work, too). And we didn't have to dig too far into my crafty past stash to find a 6" hoop and some blunt tip tapestry/ cross-stitch needles. I figure that with the aida, when we have a piece we want to keep, it will be ready to become a pillow top or otherwise integrated into something.

Once the cloth was taut in the hoop, I threaded the needle and tied a slip knot at the eye and a knot in the tail (thanks to Amanda Blake Soule's book for the tips!)~ not kosher embroidery but it helped this 4 year old novice out (and saved her mother much frustration).
And away she went, with great determination and growing confidence that you could almost measure from stitch to stitch. By the time she was ready for a second thread she cut it herself, and with the third, she threaded the needle. At this point I left her on her own as I went to dye some silk, just helping out with knotting and the odd tangled thread.
On her own she made a star and the letter A. With encouragement she tried large and small stitches and made a small running stitch row of 5-6 stitches. On her next foray we will draw a simple shape or image for her to work with as she experiments and finds her way around hoop, needle and thread.
Definitely worth a try with an interested little one!

Hairband from Etsy Shop Lil Bug Boutique and Bunny Ears from Etsy Shop Ribbon Candy Hairbows)
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
For many of us grown up types, we grow uneasily into an identity as 'artist' thanks to our lifelong certainty that we are no such thing. I still rest easier in being an 'artisan' than an artist, somehow. And yet, I *feel* like an artist~ that pulsing creativity, that rhythm that drives the need to make things with my hands and to play in texture and colour and fiber... isn't that how artists feel?

Maybe I should ask my daughter.

While shopping for a few items in an art store to help with our art space (more about that in another post to come), Rowan picked up a miniature wooden bendy guy (the kind used for modelling drawing figures~ I have a large pair for fiber sculpting).

I told her we weren't buying one. The lady at the store meant it kindly and helpfully, but she told Rowan "oh no, those are for artists, dear."

To which my amazing, self-assured daughter (age 4.5) replied: I am an artist.

Rowan placed the figure on the counter and we bought it and brought it home. I figure $4.99 was not nearly enough to pay for the moment when my daughter could stand and claim her creative self.

She is an artist. And a teacher.
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