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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Monday, 31 October 2011
Welcome to the Playdate (#29)
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!
playdate, link party, blog hop, link share, tutorial, craft, kids
Happy Hallowe'en!

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!


Friday, 28 October 2011
Why spend money on something to smash?
When you make it at home with things you have around the house?!
AND it is a great kid-friendly craft!

This year, for our daughter's 6th birthday party, we decided to make our own pinata.
It was messy but easy!
I haven't used papier mache since grade 5, but it was easy to round up everything we needed, including a recipe for a thick flour paste.

Age: 3+, just old enough to not eat the glue!
Time: Allow 2-3 days.
Supplies:
  • Strips of paper. Newspaper is ideal~ we snagged a stack of free community papers from the Post Office, just before they recycled them!
  • Balloons and/or picture wire.
  • Bowl, whisk or spoon.
  • Flour and water; saucepan and stove top
  • paints (any)
  • string or ribbon for hanging
  • covering for your table (we used a patio table that could be hosed off easily!)
  • On party day: goodies, blindfold and a stick

papier mache, craft, kids, birthday party, pinata, instruction, how to make a pinata, tiger

Because we were in a time crunch, we used a thick flour paste.
  1.  Put three cups of water in a saucepan and turn on heat to bring to a boil.
  2.  BEFORE it boils, use a sieve and sift in one cup of flour, stirring constantly with your whisk to avoid lumps forming. Continue to stir until it boils.
  3. Gently boil for 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture thickens, stirring constantly.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  5. This paste will 'gel' as it cools, which is fine! After you have applied one layer of paper, store unused paste in the fridge until you need it for the next layer.
  6. If you desire a runnier paste, follow the method above, using 5 cups of water and 1/4 cup of flour.

Let's Papier Mache!
1. Prepare your materials:
Tear your paper in strips.
Prepare your form~ ours was a balloon for a tiger's head. We used a bowl to hold it upright.
Make your paste.
Put on old clothes!
Cover your work area.

2. Slop it on!
This is not a tidy craft!  Place a strip of paper into the glue (well, 'onto' if you use the thicker recipe!) and cover it with the paste.
As you remove it from the paste bowl, run it over the edge of the bowl to remove any excess paste~ the piece you apply should be saturated with paste but without any excess 'globs' (that must be the technical term, right?!).
I found with a turning-6 year old that it was easier if I did the bowl portion and she applied the paper to the form.
tiger, pinata, birthday, party, make your own, how to, instructions, tutorial, craft, kids

Now slap it on! Criss-cross your strips to create a grid for strength and structure.
Cover the entire form EXCEPT for an area large enough to insert your pinata treats!
If you forget this bit, you can always cut an opening later!
You will want to reinforce this opening area to avoid having the drying mache collapse in.
When your pinata is fully covered with a single layer, place it in a warm dry spot to dry.
Expect this to take 18-24 hours.

3. Slop it on... Again!
Lather, rinse, repeat.
Add as many layers as you feel you need.
We stopped at two because we had enough structure for the piece to hold and wanted to be sure that it was relatively easy to smash.
Oh! And I ran out of time!

4.  Remove the Form
If you have used balloons, now is the time to pop them and peel them away from the inside as you pull them out through the candy opening.

Even with another 24 hours to dry, with our summer humidity, I ended up spending about an hour with a blow dryer to dry the inside of our pinata when the balloon was removed.

5. Paint or decorate...
We used a combination of tempera and acrylic craft paints to finish our tiger.
I found our pinata a little weak atthe opening and reinforced it by gluing on some cheap craft felt.
I poked a hole on either side of the top and strung through a ribbon to hang the pinata in the tree once I had added the prizes.
{{Filling Your Pinata~ maybe it goes back to the Easter Egg hunt when I was about 6 and all the big kids found the eggs and I got nothing... but I don't like to see kids upset after a candy scramble, and there is almost always someone upset!
So, for our birthday parties, we purchase candy and little prizes.  We use ziploc bags and put the same thing in each bag (or special treats for an allergic child) and put each child's name on their bag.
When the pinata breaks, rather than a mad competitive pushing mass of kids, we have a group of kids cooperating and sorting out the bags for each other and every one of them smiling!}}

A big stick, a blindfold and eager kids lined up to smash our tiger!
It was tougher than we expected and while it smashed in, it did not break open.
Eventually it tore from the strings...
Have fun!♥♥
Wednesday, 26 October 2011
I am working on it.

You may recall that we are working towards/ with an  ADD diagnosis for our 6 year old daughter.
And Grade One is proving to be a challenge.
While Rowan is loving the academic side and doing well, she is also feeling the strain of sitting at a desk all day and trying to stay focused through numerous shifts in subject and activity.

As a result, she is often close to a meltdown by the time she gets home from school.
The long day combined with her difficulty in eating in such a highly distracting environment do not leave her with much energy to cope by the end of the day.

And then we get to get up and do it all over again.

But we are working on it.
Lots of time, space and patience.
Some tools like egg timers and a stability ball.
And then some more patience.
Which has never been my strong suit.

Some days I feel defeated, I admit.
That my bright kid who can read astonishingly well, can't remember that we brush our teeth every day.
Or, that my empathetic child who has apologized to her friend for accidentally kicking her is now hiding and crying in the friend's closet, overcome by the upset of making her friend cry.

And while part of me is relieved:
know why these things roll out this way, now~
(as GI Joe taught us, "knowing is half the battle").
Another part of me is so sad that it has to be so difficult for my daughter.

But we laugh.
Often.
And we count our many blessings.
And we talk about it all.

One of the challenges for me was how to talk about this with Rowan.
But I did it, and will continue to do so.

Rowan now knows that she has a 'race car brain'.
It is wickedly fast and amazing and able to zoom about from one thing to another at astonishing speeds.
But to be a good race car driver, you have to slow down on the corners,and sometimes, take a leisurely drive through the country and enjoy the scenery.
And you always have to pay attention.
And make sure you fuel up.
It is a fun analogy that she feels good about.

Having a race car brain is pretty darn cool.
Just ask: Elvis Presley, Albert Einstein, Dustin Hoffman, Winston Churchill, John Lennon, Walt Disney, Mozart, Bill Cosby...  and on and on...

So I am learning to live into what is~ and to love a life that I hadn't expected.
(honestly, I should know better by now that things never turn out the way we expect them to, but rather the way they were meant to turn out!)
Adjusting to being a small family...
Accepting being that pain in the 'neck' parent, advocating for my child at school..
Learning what it means to be on the pit crew for a top notch race car....
Celebrating this amazing, different, bright, creative child who holds my heart.
And who is the life waiting for me.♥♥
Monday, 24 October 2011
The colour for tuesday, in Waldorf/Steiner pedagogy, is red.
Today I had fun sifting through many imaginative and appealing nods to Little Red Riding Hood.
Enjoy!♥♥

1. Red Riding& the Wolf Waldorf Dolls, by The Hillcountry Dollmaker.
2. Organic Tshirt, by All Wild Co.
3. Little Red Riding Hood Embroidery Pattern, by Comfort Stitching.
4. Wrist warmers, by Sara Bell Knits.
5. Red & the Wolf, by Pokeberry Toys.
6. Three Piece Clay Set, by Adoro Me.
7. Sweet Miss Red, by My Little Niche
8. Two faced Wolf/ Grandmother Doll, by Ragamuffin Baby
Sunday, 23 October 2011
Welcome to the Playdate (#28)
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!
 
 A good and faithful friend always makes the play more fun!
Archie is always up for an adventure.

I apologize for the lack of features this week... I am doing well to get this posted at all, so please forgive me, and I will feature some of our wonderful submissions again next week!
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!



This week I challenged myself to use some of the wooden toy supplies that I have been collecting....
and made some new toys!

I am a supply hoarder, but slowly and steadily I am cleaning up my act.
Here are some of the wooden toys that emerged from my clean up this week...

Pretty Maids All in a Row
Colour Match Acorns
Busy Bee Match Up
Eggs in a Basket
and Acorn Counting & Colour Gnomes
All of these toys come in their own unbleached cotton muslin drawstring pouches for storage and ease of travel.  All are listed now in our Etsy Shop. ♥♥


Friday, 21 October 2011
For a child with an active imagination, bedtime fears can be tough to tame.
I should know... I was a kid like that.

Since I spent my family's (scary) movie nights hidden in my bedroom with a paint by number and Cyndi Lauper cranked up high as a child, I understand my daughter's easily ignited fears of the dark and unknown. Honestly, even as an adult I can be spooked walking home after dark and I always check my back seat when I get in a vehicle at night and I never ever sleep in a room with the closet doors open.

Before you think it...  I don't share these fears with my daughter because I know how easily we can pass them on to our children, but I can empathize with how very real and overwhelming night-time imaginings can be. I am the bravest mom she knows!
At age 6, Rowan has really fallen into the 'monsters under the bed' set of fears.

It began with a nightmare in which the kids at school were pelting her with worms... a dream brought on by a real warm rainy night that brought all the worms to the surface in the school playground, where they were found by the children the next morning (um, ewww!).
And once the worms got in, so did all the other wee beasties and nasties.
My child is Scaredy Squirrel.

The ghosts, of course.
They are flat, see through and can fit in any place.

The monsters~ ogres and trolls, mostly.
They live under the bed, but come out to eat "mommies and daddies, boys and girls, aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas and friends and..." when darkness falls.
(and here I had thought about pulling out the Dennis Lee poetry soon..."and a monster ran off with my mum, my mum!" Nope.)

The underpants gnomes AND underpants aliens.
While not dangerous, they are definitely annoying.
And definitely hide under beds.
And their friends the sock gnomes.
Thieves, every one.

Thanks to the Barenaked Ladies, we have ninjas.
(and perhaps the BEST musical rhyme ever made: "The ninjas are deadly and silent. They are also unspeakably violent. they speak Japanese and do whatever they please. And sometimes they vacation in Ireland.")

Oh, and don't forget the killer bees.
Which don't sting you.
They stare you to death.

And finally, there are the DUST BUNNIES.
These scare the bejeebers out of me.
They CUT YOU IN HALF "with the sharpest knife they can find in your house".
These really freak me out because I know we have dust bunnies and I know we have knives.
So it could happen.

And I should mention~ all of these fears came to light on one night.
ONE night.

So what to do.
A 6 year old who can't function without enough sleep.
A school night.
A busy mom who needs to get some more work done and who will fall asleep for sure if she lays down with the kiddo.
Genuine fear that needed both respect and reduction to a more manageable size.

Sleeping in her own room was out of the question, the nasties knew she slept there.
So. She moved into my bed with a lamp on..
I gave her a new book (well, an old book of mine with lots of diverting pictures of puppies).
I gave her one of her real dogs in the room.
Still no luck.

And then I remembered having seen 'Monster Spray' for sale someplace.
A scented spray to chase the monsters away~ best used with great drama and confidence by the parents.
However, I knew I needed to be careful to NOT confirm the presence of monsters (ie. by spraying at them).
I needed to stop them from ever getting in, or there would be no getting to sleep (poor sleeper + ADD fueled imagination, stubbornness and sensitivity...).

Ah-ha!
Our beloved all natural hair detangler, scented with rosemary and lavender (my favourites!) to the rescue.
I grabbed the bottle and strode confidently into the bedroom, presenting my solution with a flourish.
"Monsters HATE rosemary!" I declared with bravado.
"They do?" Rowan asked with hope... I still don't know if she believed me, or whether she just wanted to believe as an out from her fears...
"All bad things hate the smell of rosemary!"
And I proceeded to spray about the room with a lot of "take that! killer bees!" and "I'd like to see dust bunny TRY to come in here now!", adding extra to Rowan's pillow and hair.
Once the room was fully doused, I left her with her dog, light and book and stayed close by, across the hall.

Every few minutes she would ask "can you still smell rosemary?".
And after a while a sleepy but skeptical voice inquired, "How do you KNOW they hate rosemary?"
Uh-oh.
"I looked it up on the computer."
Bingo. Ultimate authority.
The internet!

And off to sleep she went.

Last night, I sprayed her own room with a preventative shield of rosemary.
And on her own, she added some to her Puppy lovey and her hair.
As long as she could smell rosemary, she knew she was safe.

Hooray for the power of scent memory!
Yikes for the rosemary related dependency I may have begun.
But at least Rowan (and I) know the dust bunnies are lying quiet and still, no longer wafting about in search of a knife, not that they would find the sharp ones anyway.
I hid the sharp ones.
Just in case! ♥♥
Wednesday, 19 October 2011
Rudolph Steiner, developer of the Waldorf educational philosophy, called rhythm the 'carrier of life' and assigned each day of the week with a colour.  The use of colour to mark the passing of days and weeks with young children is both effective and inspiring fo their work and play.

The colour for Wednesday is YELLOW.
And as we head into the dreary, wet and cold days of late autumn here in Northern Ontario, we could all use some warming up! These picks will warm you up and help to mark this day of the week.

1. Yellow Dandelion Fairy, by Rjabinnik.
2. Sweet Pea Waldorf Doll, by Wildwood Wee Folk.
3. Doll Bed, by Quietude Quilts.
4. Hollyhocks No. 3, by Heaven's Earth.
5. Cotton Jump Rope, by Jupiter's Child.
6. Star Knitting Pattern, by This Cosy Life.

7. Golden Retriever Art Marionette, by Two Sad Donkeys.

Stay warm!♥♥
Tuesday, 18 October 2011
Yay! It is Holy Family time again!
While my neck is mad at me, my hands and heart are happy to be making a few Holy Families and Nativity sets for the upcoming holiday season.

As a Christian educator and leader, and mostly as a parent, I believe strongly in the value of children holding the stories in their hands.  When they can touch and play and imagine the story with all of their senses (ok, maybe not taste in this case!), they engage on a deeper level with its meaning.

I remember a friend calling me to tell me that she had found her son, age 3, playing with the family (fragile) Nativity set with all of his superhero figures. She didn't know whether to be appalled or to encourage him.
This stuck with me. And 4 years ago, I made my first needlefelted Nativity set. 
I have lost track of how many I have made since!

The 'In Their Hands' set is designed for years of play. 
While I adore the look of the soft, flowing needlefelting style, it is not intended for toddler use. 
These Nativity pieces are firmly felted with no arms, legs or other bits to be pulled out by a persistent child.  Each figure stands 3-5" tall. 
And while they are firm in the middle, the surfaces are soft, lovely merino.

Holy Family sets (Mary w/ Jesus and Joseph) will be available in the shop by chance or by custom request.

Nativity sets are being offered on a custom basis with a layaway option ~ they may be made in a colour scheme of your choosing. Jesus may be attached to Mary or on his own...
Each set includes: Mary & Jesus, Joseph, three Wise Men, two Shepherds and an angel.

Order early, as we must ship all holiday orders by the end of November. ♥♥
Monday, 17 October 2011
Welcome to part four of this series of informational posts to help parents and family shop for playsilks for the little ones in their lives As the holiday season approaches and you look for long lasting, beautiful, natural playthings, these posts can help you choose quality silks.

playsilk, silk, play, waldorf, dyeing, how to, choosing, help, shopping, guide
You will find the past posts here:
Part One :: Why Playsilks?/ Is it Silk?
Part Two :: Quality
Part Three :: Size Matters

Silk is gorgeous.
It takes dye beautifully.
I am still enamoured of the process after years of dyeing thousands of pieces... I am still excited every time I pull out the dye pots.

Dyeing is an art and a science and the dyes are to be handled with care.
A few words about dyes...

Dyer’s generally use food dyes or acid dyes or a combination of both when working with silk.
Silk, like wool, is a 'protein' or animal fiber.

Procion dye will work on silk, but is intended for plant fibers and often lacks predictability and vibrancy, acting more as a wash or stain on the fabric than a true dye which bonds to the fabric itself in a chemcial reaction ('fiber reactive dyes').
All three are safe in their dyed form (on the cloth).

The least permanent is the food dye as it is not formulated for washing or for light (it is made to be eaten, think of that the next time you drink red Kool Aid... that it permanently bonds to animal fiber... eek!), and some colours do run (but are safe and baby-mouth friendly).  That is not to say that it doesn't create lovely silks ~ they just require a little more tender care to avoid fading and colour loss.

Acid dyes are created to be permanent, light and wash fast.
They are fiber reactive and are the industry standard for true, long lasting silk colours.
I am often asked about natural dyes~ if we make natural toys, why not use natural dyes? 

Firstly, most of the natural 'dyes' are not dyes~ you can soak silk in beetroot and get a lovely natural, soft colour that will set reasonably well with an acid (ie vinegar) but the piece has not undergone a true dye reaction, it is only stained
Unless a mordant is used (and in the case of many natural pigments these mordants contain heavy metals and are more toxic during the dye process than the non-naturally derived dyes), the fabric is simply stained with the colour of the dyeing agent (ie grass, beets etc.). It is also prone to rapid fading as oils from hands, light and washing work at removing the ‘stain’.

Each dyeing method has its merits and unique results, however when it comes to the play and wear of children's toys, durability, light and color fastness are priorities.

As you are shopping, look for information about how the silks have been dyed.
Also consider the dyer's experience.
How long have they been dyeing? 
Do they have a body of work that shows consistent and lovely pieces? 

Silk is relatively easy to dye on your own~ silk + kool aid + vinegar.
And it is FUN to do.

However, if you are going to pay for professionally dyed silk, ensure that it is professionally dyed by an experienced and responsible dyer.

Whether you like muted natural tones or brights, look for consistently dyed silk and a track record of beautiful pieces.
Check the gallery (seller doesn’t have one? Check the past items that the vendor has sold).
Pictures may show samples (many dyer’s dye to order) and not the specific silk you will receive~ is the quality of the dye work consistent and to your tastes?
Even solid pieces can carry a lot of character and beauty in the way the dye is applied.

Monitors vary, and tones may vary between pictures and the real thing~ but in the end you should find the
finished piece exceeds your expectations from the photos because the movement of the colour across the piece in your hands will be amazing!

Hopefully this information from the 'inside' will help you to choose beautiful silk to last for years and years of play! ♥♥
Sunday, 16 October 2011
Welcome to the Playdate (#27)
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!
My mother, age 59, playing on the monkey bars last weekend... play keeps us young!

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, 15 October 2011
Autumn always makes me want to knit.
And so I am knitting my way through a huge collection of worsted weight wool scraps.
knitting, knit, hat, gnome, winter, pattern, scrap, yarn, scrap buster

Several years ago on Hyena Cart, the 'Hudson Hat' was all the rage... and for good reason, it is a great hat!
I had one made for Rowan and she wore it faithfully until it was simply too small.
(Pictured here sacked out on the subway after a trip to the Big Smoke at age 3)
The hat is designed for infant/ toddler/ child or adult sizes by Lindsay at Family Roots.
If you use Ravelry you will find it here.
 
 
 A great scrap-buster and a pretty quick knit, too.
Now I need one for myself!
♥♥
Friday, 14 October 2011
Waldorf education emphasizes the importance of rhythm in the life of young children~ it regulates them and helps them to create meaning.  To aid in this process, each day of the week is assigned a colour, and the colour for Saturday is blue.


Be sure to check out our other Waldorf  weekday features (see the topic list on the lower right column) for lots of ideas to incorporate colour and rhythm into your days.

Enjoy these fabulous finds, all made with natural materials! Yay!♥
1. Blue Garden Gnome, by Stepzin.
2. Mistletoe Gnome, by Painting Pixie.
3. Sperm Whale w/ Waves, by Cedar Hill Heirlooms.
4. Blue Dolly Sweater, by Dolly's Favorite One.
5. Spinning Top, by David Turns Bowls.
6. The Cedar Doll, by Boolah Baguette.
7. Teal Blue Fairy, by Crunchy Family Rising.
8. Wooden Race Car, AE Wooden Toys.
9. Blue Horse, by The Mortimer Tree.
10. Blueberry monster, by Mama Roots.
Thursday, 13 October 2011
One of the toughest lessons to learn is when to quit or when to push on through.
Tough for us to learn for ourselves, and doubly difficult as a parent!

Rowan (age 6) began horseback riding in June (see our past lessons posts here).
She loves it, with a quiet delight and a surprising calm determination.
Today she came home from school in 'a mood'.
Tired, hungry, and given the grey mistiness of the day, convinced it was raining and she would not be riding.
But lessons were still on.
And she had a meltdown.



Something wasn't right.
Once the meltdown passed (and her father stuffed her wailing into the van while I put her boots on her flailing feet), she stated that she didn't want to go riding and that she doesn't like it.
Curiouser and curiouser.

It turned out she was anxious about riding because the sensation of rising while posting in the trot made her feel afraid. The moment when she was off the saddle and relying on her core strength was scary (although she still holds the strap).

And I was relieved.
I love that she is riding but I never want to be the mom who makes my kid do something they hate for years on end!
Given that after school she also rejected television, her dogs, playdates and granola bars as things she doesn't like, it was a pretty safe bet that the dislike of riding was fleeting, and more a matter of the fear she was feeling.

So given the choice to back off or push her on, I pushed.
At the end of her lesson, she not only brought Phoenix to a trot while riding independently, but she also posted at trot, around the ring and over poles, with only one hand on the strap, the other on the reins and a HUGE smile on her face....

She pushed (or perhaps was pulled!) through the fear.
She had been on the very edge of a breakthrough in skill and confidence and needed a little pressure to go on.

And I couldn't help but think of how often we find ourselves in this position, on the edge of something new, on the precipice of something being called out from within us that we aren't quite able to trust yet....
freaking out and filled with fear...
and how often we balk, or turn back, or quit.
When stepping into it might open up whole new worlds!

This was just a small step along the journey to becoming an independent rider.
But it was a huge step for a little girl on a big horse to trust her own strength and to be surprised by the joy of small victories over our fears.
And another life lesson learned (for her? for me?) from a horse. ♥♥


(I was taking pictures at riding today to share the vest I finished for Rowan for riding and skating~ the pattern is 'Little Hotshot' and the yarn was hand dyed ('Soar' on superwash merino ~ the yarn the dogs tore up here) by the talented Diane of Bugsnugger).
Last week, I began a series of informational posts to help parents and family shop for playsilks for the little ones in their lives

Introduction Post/ Is It Silk?
Part Two :: Quality

This week, we'll take a look at size.

Size.
It matters. 
There is no standard for sizing silks.
One vendors ‘large’ may be 22" square, while another sells 30" square.as the standard 'large' silk.
That 'large' silk at the great price may actually be half the size you would expect!
This diagram is done to scale, showing the differences in the most common sizes.
Different sizes work well for different types of play. 
They all have their place!
Our 11" Fairy Silkies™ are popular for babies and toddlers to hold and manipulate, but
also make great aids for preschooler play, too, coming in handy as soup in the bowl, a dolly
diaper, a gnome blanket, a hair pretty and more.

Over the years (and over 12 000 pieces dyed!) I have found the 35" to be the most versatile and popular size. It can carry through from infancy to middle childhood (and mom can wear it as a scarf in a pinch!). 
We have tested various sizes with many groups of children in workshops and play groups,
and repeatedly find the 35" to be their ‘go-to’ over the smaller 22" and 30" and the larger 44" standard sizes for a wide variety of play styles, both boys and girls.


So shop carefully.
Silk prices have tripled in the last year or two, and a couple of quality pieces will last throughout childhood.
Consider the age of the children~ look for the most versatile pieces for growing imaginations.
Silks are easy to store and take up very little space, even in the larger sizes.
Keep in mind that that ‘large’ silk may not be as large as you think (look for the measurements).
And those two identically priced pieces may in fact be two different sizes.
Sometimes you need one in EVERY size!
 When you purchase playsilks, you are making an investment in tools for your child's work of play.
Good tools are important!
So look for quality silk, in the right size for your family, well dyed.... we'll discuss dyeing next time! ♥♥
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Supply Kit for Silk Fairy Mobile DIY

Supply Kit for Silk Dolly DIY