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Honour the Child

Blog Archive

BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Sunday, 31 July 2011
Welcome to the Playdate! (#19)
Everyone is welcome to link up to this post all week long with your
kid related posts ... 
recipes, games, crafts, parenting, stories...
just think of it as our virtual play group!

Holidays! Woohoo! Hooray!
(I am *so* ready for the break!)
I kicked them off by doing a little bit of sewing for my girl, in the fabrics of her choice.
Thanks to everyone who linked up last week~ so many wonderful summery ideas!
Fabulous activities, recipes, games and more!

Here are some of last week's highlights...
(chosen from participants who added the Playdate button or link to their post or blog)
If you are featured, please grab a button for your blog or post!
 Beneath the Rowan Tree




Upcycled Rainbow Rugs
 from Puppy Love Preschool
from the crafting fiend
from I Heart Crafty Things 
from Homespun with Love
 Now on to a new Playdate! Grab a button and join the fun!
Beneath the Rowan Tree


The Playdate Guidelines:
♥ Add your link and thumbnail below and please visit some of the other links and comment.
♥ Your posts can be old or new, we welcome your best! (no more than 3 per week, please)
♥ Consider adding the playdate button (above) to your post or sidebar, or even a text link back to this blog (http://beneaththerowantree.com) ~ you don't have to, but it sure would be sweet ♥!
♥ ANY kid/ baby/ family related posts and ideas welcome... but please no shop links, promos or giveaways.
♥ I will feature my favourites from the playdate in next week's Playdate post (choosing from those who have added our button or link to their shared post).
♥ Become a follower of this blog, if you wish!
♥ Hit the Facebook or Twitter buttons below and share with your friends!


Saturday, 30 July 2011
While I think silk is a wonderfully potent fiber, wont to entice even the most unlikely of children into creative, active play... it is also very strong.

Pound for pound, silk is tougher than steel.
I read, once, that a pencil thick bundle of spider's silk could stop a jumbo jet in flight.
While silkworm silk is not as strong as spider silk, it is still considerably stronger than any other natural fiber, and some studies suggest that the difference in spider's silk and silkworm silk strength has to do with how it is spun, and not the base material~ both being as strong as they are due to cross-linking of fibers.

With its amazing strength, silk is not only used in luxury fabrics, but in parachutes, surgical sutures and so much more because, unlike many other options, silk can bend and fold without breaking.

Pretty awesome, huh?

And this is the stuff that makes such wonderful, natural, open ended toys, too!
Not only is it beautiful in its dyed form (and, oh! the possibilities!) inviting touch and motion, it is so very durable.  Playsilks are an investment in a child's development, and because of their innate strength they will last throughout childhood and beyond...

For processed and dyed silk the greatest natural enemy is probably the sun~ like other natural fibers, prolonged sun exposure will break down the fibers (ie. if hung as curtains for a long period). And then there is bleach. Eek! Never apply bleach, which simply devours silk. 

Even so... silk can really take a licking... these are pictures of a Fairy Garland that was lost some time last summer.  It spent a whole year in our Ontario weather (from high heat to deep freeze) and a toss or two from the lawn mower and it has maintained its integrity and nearly all of its colour (it was a pale green, pink and ivory ~ Heart of the Rose). {{I don't suggest this as a way to treat your silk, however!}}
 

When it is wet, silk is most vulnerable and lacks tensile strength.
For this reason wet silk should be handled gently and never wrung or twisted and stretched.
It is for this reason as well that I do not recommend the washing machine (all that wet agitation!).
A drop of dish soap and a gentle hand washing in warm water, a soft squeeze and hang to dry are all that is needed to keep your silk looking lovely and lasting long.
Have you hugged your silk today?! ♥♥
Simple, comfortable, fun!
The Cartwheel Dress is just that.
With a sweet A-line shape and a grow-with-the-girl neckline, these dresses will move from dress to tunic to swing top over several years of growth.  Being wash and wear (100% prewashed coton, designer quilting) they are easy to care for, and without buttons or ties, even toddlers can pull them on and hit the ground running.

I have been wanting to do a peasant style dress for a while, and have worked through several patterns without getting *exactly* what I wanted for our line, so in the end, I drafted my own.  Available in sizes 12M - 9/10 girls. With the ruffle or with a belt (especially for older girls/ longer dresses who may find the ruffle a litle 'young').

Wear it with bare legs, tights, leggings, jeans... a shirt underneath... and more!
{{the model pictured is a 5/6T wearing a 3/4/5 dress}}
 
The two dresses above are available in the Etsy Shop now, and custom orders are welcome!
Friday, 29 July 2011
Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.
Pedro Calderon de la Barca

In Waldorf education, each day of the week has an associated colour, planet and grain.

Friday's colour is green.  Keeping a weekly rhythm of colour in season leads to all sorts of wonderful finds, and today I want to share with you some green.... not the colour but the concept!  These items are all repurposed and upcycled, in whole or in part,  from other items! Many of these are made by the artisans of Etsy's Natural Kids Team. (search: naturalkids team).
1. Cherry Blossom Faun, by Faerie Rebecca
2. Upcycled Wool Tree Crown, by Elemental Handcrafts
3. Upcycled Wool Woodland Cloak, by The Sitting Tree
4. Tree Branch Blocks, by Vermont Branch Company
5. Recycled Sari Silk Ribbon, by Design Talented One

6. Sweet Tabby Cat, by Driaa
7. Tropical Snail, by Eve's Little Earthlings
8. Recycled Mancala Game, by Mr. Hudon
9. Recycled Book Journal, by This Handmade Life
10. Crazy Felt Sheep, by Beneath the Rowan Tree

Enjoy!♥♥
{I have to say how much we love our recycled journals... Rowan fills them up and I save them with all of her art and writing.}
Wednesday, 27 July 2011
{{child loss mentioned, for those who may be sensitive to this topic}}


"Celebrate Life & Love"
This is the tag on the wee fabric bird that arrived in our mailbox last week.
A call to be thankful for all that we have, and to hold our loved ones close.

The bird was sent by my friend Maria, in honour of the second birthday of her fourth child, Lucy.
'Operation Lucy Bird' was conceived to honour this beautiful little girl who was born on August 5, 2011.
She did not draw breath, she was born still into the arms of her loving parents.

To remember her, and to do something positive, Maria has sent birds around the world to friends and family.
The idea is to take a picture of the bird in a place that is special to each family.
We then tag the photo, or send it to Maria, and either leave the bird for someone else to find or keep it for our own remembering.

What an amazing and beautiful way to remember Lucy (and to bear in mind all the others we know who have experienced the loss of a child).

When our bird arrived, I gave Rowan the task of deciding where we would place the bird.
She took this responsibility seriously, and we openly talked about Lucy's death as part of life and living~ as a minister in frequent contact with the bereaved, I am in strong favour of normalizing death with young children.
This was a chance to speak of it concretely and to allow Rowan to grow in compassion and empathy with the ability to 'do' something positive with the knowledge.

We talked about Rowan's grandmother having lost a baby girl at birth and we discussed the concept of the next child born being the 'rainbow baby'~ when I showed Rowan pictures of Maria's Rainbow Baby Amelia, I think Rowan may have been a little disappointed that she wasn't rainbow striped at all!

After a few hours, she told me she had decided.
She wanted to place the 'Lucy Bird' in the church, at the cross.
Firstly, because she 'knows that Jesus is looking after her for her mommy" and secondly, "so that everyone can know about her and pray for Maria and her family".
I can't make this stuff up... it would be schmaltzy if she were not utterly genuine in her convictions.


On Sunday morning, Rowan sat down in my office and wrote out what she wanted to say.
And when our service began, she pulled a chair up to the pulpit, stood at the microphone and read her words in a clear and confident voice.(Translation provided below for those who do not read 5 year old phonetic wriitng!)
 Lucy Bird is for Maria. She had a baby and when she was born they found out her heart wasn't beating. And she had another baby, Amelia, and that is called a rainbow baby.
Lucy Bird. Lucy Bird is special and she is sweet. I love her very much. She says 'Celebrate love and life' and she loves me, too!

It was moving and powerful.
Our scripture reading for the day was from Matthew 18 "unless one becomes like a child, one cannot enter the Kingdom of heaven".

We remember Lucy and we are so thankful to her thoughtful family for drawing us together in remembering and in their call to 'Celebrate Life & Love' and for the opportunity to be lead by the children.  (Lucy Bird is staying with Rowan). ♥♥
Monday, 25 July 2011
It has been a while since I have done much felting, and it feels good to get the needles and fiber out again!
I have had several incomplete figures waiting for attention, this pregnancy sculpture being one of them.

Made completely with wool (no inner frame or wires), this woman stands around 6" tall. 
Her blonde upswept curls are made with natural Cotswold locks. ♥
(I see this photo and I am rather glad we didn't take up a local sheep farmer on her offer of a fleece this summer... yikes!)
She has an 'open face' in the Waldorf tradition, medium toned skin and daisies in her hair.
 You can find her in the Etsy shop and you can see past sculpture work in the Gallery.
Custom work sometimes available. ♥♥
Sunday, 24 July 2011
Welcome to the Playdate! (#18)
Everyone is welcome to link up to this post all week long with your
kid related posts
... 
recipes, games, crafts, parenting, stories...
just think of it as our virtual play group!
 
{{We are having an instock clearance of Daydream Believers tee HERE... 
check it out~ great savings!}} 

Dirty feet, bug bites and happy days are here...
I hope that everyone is enjoying abreak from the hig temperatures and humidity this week!
Last week we had our first (of several,we hope!) camping trips.
We are blessed to have so much unspoiled natural beauty nearby and plan to take full advantage of it!
Thanks to everyone who linked up last week~ so many wonderful summery ideas!
Fabulous activities, recipes, games and more!

Here are some of last week's highlights...
(chosen from participants who added the Playdate button or link to their post or blog)
If you are featured, please grab a button for your blog or post!
 Beneath the Rowan Tree

Campfire & Sun S'mores from Smile Monsters
Fairy Village
from The Life of Jennifer Dawn


Sand Crabs
from the Seven Year Cottage


Sunflower Crafts
from I Heart Crafty Things


Now on to a new Playdate! Grab a button and join the fun!

Beneath the Rowan Tree

The Playdate Guidelines:
♥ Add your link and thumbnail below and please visit some of the other links and comment.
♥ Your posts can be old or new, we welcome your best! (no more than 3 per week, please)
♥ Consider adding the playdate button (above) to your post or sidebar, or even a text link back to this blog (http://beneaththerowantree.com) ~ you don't have to, but it sure would be sweet ♥!
♥ ANY kid/ baby/ family related posts and ideas welcome... but please no shop links, promos or giveaways.
♥ I will feature my favourites from the playdate in next week's Playdate post (choosing from those who have added our button or link to their shared post).
♥ Become a follower of this blog, if you wish!
♥ Hit the Facebook or Twitter buttons below and share with your friends!
We have had the privilege of sending silk all around the world.
Whatever our differences in language or culture,
children speak the common language of play
and playsilks find a treasured place in their daily play.

One of my joys, the reason I keep dipping into the dye pots some 10 000 pieces of silk later, is the delight of children exploring the world with silk as part off their play!

These stunning photos come from Kollene at Catching Caterpillars, and they so vividly capture the joy of her children at play (her entire blog is simply lovely!).  The first two images come from a family road trip in the US, and the last from their vacation in Sweden. 
Thanks Kollene!
Do you have pictures to share of BTRT toys in action? Please do share!
Images can be sent by email or added to the Facebook page.
♥♥
Saturday, 23 July 2011
We made it!
Our second annual 'Moms & Girls' camping trip was a success (and so much fun!).

Recently, I have been reading Richard Louv's 'Last Child in the Woods' .

It was so gratifying to watch the girls find themselves happily at home playing in the pine forest at our local Provincial Park.  Over the course of three days, the only toys they played with (beach and woods) were shovels and rakes as they cavorted through the stumps, needles and downed trunks surrounding our site.  No signs of nature defecit here!

Playing together,they learned a lot about cooperation~ you can't move that log by yourself!
And a lot about balance....
...which means learning about falling, too!
They met some new friends....
And worked as a team to create in the sand....
And became much more proficient on their bikes up and down hills and over bumps....
As part of our local Girl Guide troop (as Sparks) the girls have been exploring these concepts, often in a natural setting. And living in Northern Ontario means there is plenty of nature to go around.  Even so, it was a delight to give them time and space to explore their environment and draw their own conclusions...

On the first night, they created an alarm system, using a frog with a croaking sound chip.
One croak: You want your Mommy (♥)
Two: Bathroom
Three: Drink
Four: Bear
Five: Coyote
Six: Fire
(the problem being that the frog croaks 5-6 times every time you squeeze it, so you need to listen for some 30 croaks to ascertain there is a fire danger... hmmm...)
In the end, we left the campground with three exhausted, dirty oh-so-happy girls and lots of wonderful memories to grow on. ♥♥
How do you get a little more nature into your lives in the summer time? ♥♥
Friday, 22 July 2011
Merry Christmas!
As I am beginning to think ahead to stocking the shop for the holidays, i need to make some room around here!
 From today (July 22) until 10 pm est on July 25, 
save 12% on all IN STOCK** items in our Etsy shop.

**In Stock = ready to ship. This promotion does not include: silk toys (all custom dyed), wooden memory games OR custom skirts.
As Etsy will apply the discount code to all items in your shopping cart, go ahead and checkout and I will invoice for the balance remaining on any custom items not included in the sale.


We also have a huge Daydream Believer Clearance sale going on in our Hyena Cart shop right now... shipping can be combined between the shops~ checkout and pay and I will refund the difference ASAP.

(yes, we made it home from camping in one piece... tired and happy and dirty! will post more once I catch up at home and work!)
Monday, 18 July 2011
My daughter and I are heading out tomorrow for a three day camping trip.

This is our second annual 'Moms & Girls' trip~ begun last year to help our young daughters bond (and the moms, too!).  We live in a small town and they attend a small school and have been 'the girls' since about age 3, so it is valuable for us to work on group building and healthy relationships in an intentional and positive way.
Last Year at the Campfire

We have realized that unless they are taught how to relate, young girls are quick to mimic what they see in older girls and pop culture~ which is competition, exclusion, bullying.  Rather than leave them in the 'jungle' of girl meanness, we are hoping to give them the skills and confidence to work together through all the playground 'stuff'. This camping trip is a fun way to work and play together! 

Our particular challenge this week will be the 'three's a crowd' dimension (gosh, don't we ALL remember that one?!), as our 4th girl/mom cannot attend. 
We are stocked up on crafts, sunscreen, bug juice (it is Northern Ontario!) and marshmallows.
Glow sticks, bathing suits and bikes are at the ready.

To set the mood, I thought I'd dig up some fun, natural, camping themed goodies for you to enjoy on Etsy (many from the Natural Kids team :: search naturalkids) while I take a wee blogging break until week-end.

1. Needlefelted Campfire, by Chimera.
2. Woodland Animals (3 Piece Set), by the Wood Garden.
3. Wooden Bears (5 Piece Set), by Just Hatched.
4. Doe & Fawn, by Darial Vovsky.
5. Bike Safely Organic Hoodie, by handfull.
6. Children's Tent, by Dance in My Garden.
7. Reversible Organic Baby Shoes, by  Wee Pereas.
8. Camping Wooden Playset, by Armadillo Dreams.
9. Conifer Cone Cap Gnome, by Painting Pixie.
10. Bug Stuff, by B Noel Aromatics.

Have a great week, I'll be back on Friday if the black bears (note to self :: remind children that black bears are the ones that you try and scare off by being big and scary~ don't play dead!) don't eat us up... although I suspect our true danger will come from the blackflies, horseflies, deerflies and mosquitoes... ♥♥
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