Welcome to A Tranquil Nook Blog

We welcome you to follow along on our crafty adventures. Frank is a farmer by day, jewelry and hand braided cord-maker by night. Jane simply fiddles with fabric and fiber any time she can. We share things about what we make, how we make it, where you can get it.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Want to Make It Yourself learn Sewing Basics

Learning to sew is so much more than pressing your foot on a pedal and steering fabric under a machine.

Especially if you one day wish to take off and sew anything you can dream up.  Do you want to learn the techniques or just make a few projects.  Can we do both?  The joy of making stuff, of holding up a finished project you wanted. The development of skills that transcend many types and styles of fabric projects.

In setting up a learn to sew program, the skills to develop might be:

Make friends with your sewing machine.  Learn how to take care of the machine so it runs smoothly.

Learn to drive the machine.

Choose and prepare fabric.

Make sense of patterns.

Discover a range of helpful sewing tools including shears, scissors, rulers, turners and the very important iron. 

My approach to achieving that balance is for the novice seamstress to choose a making theme and sally forth into projects that develop useful skills along the way.

Working to create things highly desirable is motivating.  It does take time and effort from both teacher and student to develop an individualized plan.  To facilitate the process, I've developed several themed options for helping people (children and/or adults) with Sewing Basics.

Theme 1 -  Spa Accessories.

Theme 2 -  Kitchen and Table Decor.

Theme 3 -  Creative Play Doll Stuff.

Interested in how each of these develops?  Stay tuned.  Each theme will be highlighted in a separate blog post before years end.

Sharing traditional making skills is a joy.

       Wishing you a peaceful and happy day,
                                  Jane

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Sharing and Connecting through Farmers Market

Frank and I have always dug in the dirt, cooked from raw, made things.  In our "senior" years, those activities continue.  To have more contact with people and wanting to share some of the bounty from our activities we joined farmers market.

We like to talk, we like to listen, we like to help.  We especially enjoy people who come by routinely, checking out our garden grown vegetables, sharing what they plan to make.  Some old marrieds similar to ourselves, some professionals in the peak of active careers, some young families, some young people in college or just out.  Some experienced in cooking with fresh produce to others exploring the possibilities and learning with each purchase.  Recipe sharing naturally occurs. 

One of the couples we look forward to seeing on market day is Amy and her beau, Chris.  Refreshing, delightful, friendly young people, who never fail to brighten our day.

This fall talk turned to pumpkins. We shared a family recipe from Frank's mom, Susie.  Here is what happened.

 




 Pie ready for baking. Oh YES, Amy and Chris did Susie proud.

 Amy said:
 So I sent you that email before the pie was done cooking. I have since brought it to Chris' (the strapping young fellow that I love to call my boyfriend) mother's house and we shared it with everyone. They melted with the deliciousness. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for the recipe! It was so wonderful to know that going through all that work would pay off :)
Through farmers market, we touch lives and lives touch us. 

From our home to your home we wish you a day of sharing, connecting and fellowship.
            Jane


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Drawing Mandalas with Shami Orkibi



A session in Mandala making with Shami Orkibi, Mandala Artist, leading the group. Saying little, drawing along with the group, Shami teaches by example and with quietness.



Making art with friends. Sitting quietly, listening to the sound of pens, markers, crayons, pencils move on paper.  Chatting occasionally. Absorbed and focused on the colors and movements and design appearing on the paper in front of you. 


 Influenced and stretched by the techniques, styles, shapes and way others create their designs.  This is one way that art styles, methods are shared and spread.  

Useful, bonding, peaceful.  A beautiful time and way to be present together.

My wish for you today is that you too may experience the joy of making art with friends.

Thanks for stopping in for a read.

      Jane





Monday, November 4, 2013

A Thank YOU for those who Enjoyed Vegetables from Our Garden in 2013

It seems like only yesterday,
That we were planting seeds,
It took so long for them to sprout,
Slowly did they grow.

Blossoms one day did appear,
Bees worked mightily.
Veggies ripened fair and fine,
We picked, we ate, we sold.

The season has been bountiful,
We enjoyed bringing goods to you.
Our goal to offer an easy way
To put fresh vegetables on your table.

Suddenly the frost came on,
Market days were or’ e.
We kindly thank you and appreciate
Your commitment to fresh and local.

We work harder because we know
Our garden serves you too.
Now bidding you a fond adieu,
We look forward to seeing you next year.

Until then enjoy A Summer Song by Chad and Jeremy

Of course you can find me here blogging or contact me via my website.

Just the vegetables and farmers market are gone for now.  Hopefully to return next spring.
                                  Jane

Monday, October 21, 2013

How the Art Studio Cruise and On the Road: Photographer proves strangers are friends you haven't met yet are similiar.





   
This video on “Touching Strangers” project by Richard Renaldi  aptly gives the sense of feelings generated this past week during the Art Studio Cruise.  Brief encounters of sharing, engaging, feeling the connectedness between hosts and guests.  

So much good energy flowed into my work space, some people will never come this way again, yet they left a positive impression.  Others, we may connect again and grow the contact further.  Some already known are now know to a fuller extent with deeper spirit and connection.  It seems the feeling flow in both directions.

As an artist with a very private studio it was a scary and big step to open it to strangers.  To allow unknowns into my sheltered place.  A place that has perhaps seen 15 outsiders in three years, hosted almost 200 people in the last 3 days.  All at once exhilarating and exhausting.

Many strangers coming to see, to learn, to experience AND to share.  In most cases the engagement was multi-directional.  Whether visitors were strangers, acquaintances, or old friends they brought with them great energy and spirit.

Some were fleeting encounters and we’ll never meet again.  Some may repeat and grow over time.  Some will bring reconnection or deepening.  All were meaningful.  Somehow helping to fill the “healthy emotional bucket” we all need as cushion to soften the blows of hard times.  That was the greatest joy of the cruise experience, finding the richness and sharing of spirit that flowed many ways:  stranger to stranger, visitor to visitor, visitor to artist, friend to friend...

It also got me thinking of how a third party - in this video, the photographer; in my studio a friend, vivacious and more socially skilled, facilitated the coming together of strangers.  Her belief in me, my work and her openness to engaging with strangers, her ability to welcome and engage them to share about themselves created such an open atmosphere for sharing.  It led to faster connections and fun experiences.  Many of those, fleeting moments within a life, and yet perhaps by many of us, feelings stored which fill us up with good.

It was a very difficult decision for me to step up to apply for and then accept a spot in the Art Cruise. It was a risk well worth taking.  Yes, it did allow some monetary income which was much appreciated, not just for the dollars, more for knowledge that people liked my work enough to take some home with them.

More than that, far more indeed the reward was experiencing the feeling of connectedness, the touching of lives in both directions, the sharing of feelings that enriches spirit and fuels us all. 

Bottom Line:  

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You
 to all who came my way this weekend.

-to those who sailed the orange route and came to port at A Tranquil Nook, for bringing positive energy, enthusiasm and good will.

-to Kathryn for her belief, support, and facilitation.

-to Lin who brought dinner to be reheated so I did not need to cook.  


-to Tammy for an orderly studio, plus last minute shine and polish.

-to Frank for taking on my usual farm duties.


-to neighbor and artist Melissa for prompting me to apply.  


-to the steering committee, artists and sponsors who make the Art Cruise a yearly event.

The  energy and spirit YOU shared will flow into my work. 


                                            Jane

Friday, July 19, 2013

No Time to Do it All Yourself? Find a local Farmer, Gardener, Baker, Maker

Working a full time job, managing family, keeping a home, enjoying a little social life takes lots of time and attention. Like the idea of sustainable, natural, fresh from the garden produce, home made, home canned, yet, overwhelmed with the time required, the energy needed, even if you have the know how to garden, make and bake.  Finding a local source for all or one of the "would likes" may be a way to have it all, and stay sane.
It does take upfront investigation to find  a local source  that matches your desires and fits your specific belief of what is sustainable, fresh, home made.  Just because a local gardener, baker, maker creates at home, does not mean it fits your needs/wants/expectations.  Decide what you want; find sources, research, meet, ask, try. 
Look for compatibility of definitions.  What does organic, natural, sustainable mean to you.  How does the provider define those.  If you are looking for jelly, pickles, breads, cookies just like your mom made, look at ingredients and compare if you know what mom used. Then buy it and try it.  Most of us are looking more for the taste than the ingredients.  Still, vetting the ingredients and methods may help you reach your goal faster.

Thanks to technology lots of people offer information online.  For those of us in Minnesota. MNGrown is a great place to start.  Find a farm or farmers market in your area, read up, select options, then make a live visit.
View online or Request a printed copy at MN Grown
Frank and I welcome you to find more details about us on our website and our A Tranquil Nook page on facebook. 

Thanks for stopping by,
  Enjoy your day,
     Jane

Thursday, July 11, 2013

CCV aka Collection of Complimentary Vegetables




Collection of Complimentary Vegetables #1 July 13, 2013
This week marks the start of something new for A Tranquil Nook.  We are putting together a $5 Collection of Complimentary Vegetables to offer direct from the garden and at farmers market.  Along with a nice grouping of vegetables will be a personally vetted recipe and often a sprig or two of herb.  Sometimes a supporting photo slide show with details such as use, cleaning, storage, preparation will be available online.

The kick off CCV is perfect for creating a raw veggie tray.  The vegetables: European Cucumber, American Slicing Cucumber, Green Pepper, Zucchini.  Herbs: Dill Weed, Parsley.  Recipe: Creamy Dill’n’Parlsey Dip.  Plus a supporting slide show.


Why are we offering a CCV?
Several reasons: 

  • Because some of “our people” have asked for something simple, something quick, help in choosing from the wide range of possibilities.  Yes, similar to many other farmers market vendors, we think of people who routinely buy direct from our farm or come to our market stall as “our people,”  we feel a connection and responsibility plus affection and respect.  So we listen and respond.
  • More young people, wishing to eat healthier have been showing up at market.  Some very knowledgeable, some not familiar with using produce fresh from a garden.  We hope the collection of complimentary vegetables will be a good value and way to explore new fresh produce.  With the recipe card and sometimes slide show tips to support entry into farm to fork culture.
  • Setting the collection price at $5 makes a good fit with WIC vouchers.  Because the herbs are  a “value added” component with the cost of the CCV coming from the vegetables alone, the CCV allows a way to legally use the voucher, get some great veggies plus a sample of herbs.  The CCV is also a great value for anyone wanting a selection of fresh vegetables and a sampling of herbs.  
  • We have enjoyed our farm garden since 1972.  Farm to Fork was new for us then.  "Retired from outside work," we now focus more on the garden.  We hope to share the joy of farm to fork, or as I more basely put it from garden to gullet, with others.  A cost effective ready to go selection, seems a neat way to accomplish this.
Thanks for stopping by today,

Enjoy!
   Jane

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What Happens after market?

Sometimes people ask what do you do with the produce not sold at farmers market?
While some may think "selling out" and having no produce left is a good goal, I want to have some left. Some left means we had enough for everyone who wanted it that day, the late comers as well as the early risers.  Plus, I like to eat the things we grow too.

It can add some spice and re-energize one at the end of a long day to come up with a way to combine the produce available for a meal or to get it put up for future enjoyment.

Last Saturday we had a few baby gourmet zucchinis, basil stems, a bit of dill weed and green peppers left. 

The green peppers were no challenge, those are awesome roasted for later use in salads or omelets or soups or salsa. 
 OH yes lots of ways to use those.

Next, what to do with zucchini and basil.  Google to the rescue!  Found a great recipe for zucchini-basil pesto.  Here is the result:
Added a grating of Parmigiana Reggiano on top, omitted the pasta. Served with the one slice of GF herb focaccia that did not sell at market. (Yay on that too.) Olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping bread.  Tasty!

Dill weed is a summer standard in my kitchen, any left over from market simply goes into the vase on the kitchen counter.  This week added the vase of daisies from market to the counter-top. 
Not eating the dasies, simply enjoying their beauty in the kitchen.

Dill keeps nicely with the stems in water, looks pretty, smells good, and handy to pull a stem for munching, to add to salads or other dishes as desired.

Life is good indeed.  I always hope that people who bought produce from us at market enjoy it as much as we do.  

What produce do you like to buy at farmers market?

Thanks again for stopping by, wishing you a happy and healthy summer.
  Jane







Monday, June 24, 2013

Learning to Dye and Make Nuno felt Scarves

  How many times have you heard the advice “embrace what you fear?”   In May, I took it on threefold:
  •  left Frank home alone, 
  •  drove myself to St Paul
  •  took not 1 but 2 different classes in dying.
 Not dying as in death, dying as in putting color into fabric.  Frank was unhappy yet managed OK, I drove without accident or swear words.

Let me show you what happened in the Nuno Felt Scarf class with teacher Leslie Granbeck


First we dyed silk scarves, then we added pre-dyed wool roving.  Each student came up with a unique and special scarf.




Had a blast at the Sheep and Wool Festival.  Finished two scarves, and brought home a set of eco-friendly dyes.  This summer will be a great time of explorations in dying at A Tranquil Nook.  It may be time to apply for social security, but I am happily still learning and growing in life and in fiber art.

Thanks for sharing time with me today,
    Jane

Friday, June 21, 2013

Kale - leafy green and nutritious

One of the neat things about knowing people is that they ask you questions.  One of the challenging things is you do not always know the answer.  But, you know people, so you ask them the question.  Sometimes they reward you with much more than expected.  That happened this week.

Last Wednesday, a Sports Trainer, into wellness, fitness, nutrition asked me if I have some good recipes using kale.  He wants the nutritional goodness, but would prefer some better tasting dishes, or even better some juicing recipes.

Kale, KALE, we don’t grow kale, have never eaten kale.  It took 30 years to get Frank to even eat spinach in salads.  Extrapolating from spinach experience, figure the age, size and length of time post picking may be an issue.  Indeed he was using large leaves purchased at a local grocery store.  Yay, they at least offer it.

 These days though, the farmers market is open.  Saw some young, small, pretty kale offered there.  Of course suggested he come to market to pick up fresh young kale on Saturday AND talk to those who grow it and eat it.

Cannot stop there of course, shot off an email to a number of growers asking for help.  Amber Lindman, a new vendor to farmers market this year, stepped up to the plate.

Now be prepared to drool and find how kale can rule.

Sautéed Garlic Kale with Poached Eggs (farm fresh of course!)
Photo & Recipe by Amber Lindman


6 cups chopped kale
4 garlic cloves, minced or sliced
salt and fresh ground pepper
evoo
4 farm fresh eggs

Bring a wide pot of water to almost a boil (you can see bubbles forming on the bottom) crack eggs carefully into the pan. Make sure the water does not boil.  Cook until desired doneness.

Meanwhile heat olive oil in a saute pan.  Toss in chopped kale, let it begin to wilt.  Season with coarse sale and fresh ground pepper.  Add garlic.  Saute until tender.  This only takes a few minutes.

Photo & Recipe by Amber Lindman
Serve poached eggs over garlic kale.  Sprinkle with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper and herbs such as basil or parsley if desired.
Serves 2

************
 Next up:           
 Creamy Garlic Kale Pasta

Photo & Recipe by Amber Lindman
 1 lb. pasta
8 cups kale, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup heavy cream or half and half
coarse salt & fresh ground pepper

Bring a pot of water to a  boil, salt generously and add desired pasta.  My favorite for creamy pasta is the large spiral.  Cook until al dente.  Meanwhile in another pan heat olive oil.  Add 8 cups chopped kale, season with coarse salt and fresh ground pepper.  Cook a few minutes until tender.  When pasta is finished cooking drain but reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.  Return pasta to pot, add kale, chopped garlic, heavy cream or half and half (whichever you desire), and reserved pasta water.  Mix and heat on med/low until sauce thickens.

**************
Last but not least :   
                                             Fritatta 

8 eggs
2 c. kale, chopped
1 c. asparagus, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 c. chopped sweet onion
3/4 c. half n half
1/2 c. white cheddar or monterey jack cheese
1/2 c. parmesan cheese
fresh herbs such as tarragon, basil, parsley
2 T. olive oil
coarse salt & fresh ground pepper

Heat oven to 350.  Saute kale, onion, and asparagus in 1 T. olive oil until crisp tender.  Meanwhile beat eggs with half and half, add cheeses, herbs, and 1 tsp. coarse sale and 1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper.  Put veggies on a plate and add remaining 1 T. olive oil to the pan and heat to med/high.  Let veggies cool just enough to put into egg mixture.  Mix.  Then pour into heated pan.  Let a crust form then put pan in oven and finish cooking for approx. 25-30 minutes, when springy on top and done through.  Cut like pie and serve with crusty bread and greens.
**************************
Amber says: They are my own recipes, and the pasta I would have to repeat to perfect the quantities I used.  I fly by the seat of my pants when I cook because I've been taught that way.  I taste and add until it tastes right. Fritatta is my favorite versatile "egg pie"!!!  All of these recipes even my kids ate!
Amber is a local grower with a B.S. in Food and Nutrition.  She has a serious knack for cooking and dreams of opening her own little bistro/wine bar.  She is off to a great start at farmers market.  You can find her at Bemidji's Natural Choice Farmers Market 
on many Saturday mornings this summer.

Amber, thank you so much for providing these awesome recipes.  I'm sure that others besides me will be inspired to try kale in one of these ways.

   Jane

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rainy Days - Yes! time to Launder Reusable shopping bags

A lovely gently rainy day here in Bemidji.  Needed water is reaching the garden and pastures.  A welcome break from weeding too.  Though more weeds will spring up as the planted vegetables grow larger, weeding will be relegated to another day.  A great time to be indoors, catching up and/or getting ahead on laundry. 

Perfect Day to clean reusable bags for food shopping. 

We love seeing customers at farmers market bringing reusable bags and totes. Hurray to you for responsible stewardship of energy and resources.  You shop local to bring fresh and healthy into your home, keeping the bags germ free and safe for hauling food is important too.   

Downloadable from Cleaning Institute
As they say at the Cleaning Institute “When in doubt, wash your bags! If bags are worn and dirty, throw them out!” 

Other online sources with whys and hows of keeping it clean when you go green are available if you really want to dig into the dirt on this subject :


Each article has a little different style, most suggest keeping reusable bags catagorized.  for example One for meats only, not putting meats in a bag that has toted fresh picked veggies from a home garden.  Color code, mark with a tag, et cetera. 

Simply consider how to shop eco-friendly, healthy and wise.

What works best for you to stay green and clean?

Thanks for hanging out with me on this lovely rainy day,
  Jane

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Gluten Free Baking for Farmers Market

Begins with thorough Kitchen cleaning to eliminate even minute sources of wheat contamination.

Frank attends to even the screws on the mixer.  For people with extreme gluten intolerance even trace amounts of gluten may trigger gut inflammation and other unpleasant and unwelcome problems.  Our goal is to bake safe gluten free foods for all levels of gluten sensitive and intolerant people. 

Beyond extreme cleaning, removal of wheat and other gluten containing flours from our kitchen during the summer, we use “certified” gluten free flours, grains and have dedicated baking pans, mixing bowls, and tools used only with gluten free baked goods. 

You can read more about Frank’s baking practices on our website in the Baking area of the “How we Make it” page.

Once Frank had the kitchen ready for tomorrow’s baking spree, he was outside weeding and grooming the garden. 
Today that was cleaning the edges along a wall of the high tunnel.

There is always something to do indoors and outdoors.  If you are out and about in Bemidji on Sat. June 15, 2013 between 8:30am and 3pm you can find us at Bemidji's Natural Choice Farmers Market.  In the Union Square Parking Lot near Giovanni's.

Thanks for visiting virtually with us today in kitchen and in garden.
    Jane

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bringing the Outdoors In - Wild Ornamentals

Hurray. Hurrah. Legitimize your yen for collecting bits and bobs on outdoor walks.  display a mix of wild, tame, handcrafted, recycled treasures in a nature table.  Celebrate the season, live in harmony with earth rhythms. Wise, sustainable, natural.
Spring offers a grand opportunity to harvest bare and barely budded branches.  Pussy willow, red barked limbs, plus last year's dried buds, cones, and nuts.  Do no harm by taking those that will fall to the road cleaner's chopper in ditches and berms.
  • Seek and cut branches in early spring
  • Set branches and cones in a cool airy space to cure
  • Arrange in tied bunches or vases in late spring
    As warm nights arrive the top of the wood stove hosts a spring nature table.  Once wild ornamentals are placed, one sees spots for last season's cured tiny gourds.  
    The handcrafted garden gnomes fairly danced into the setting and a wooly bird came to rest.
     
    Enjoy,
      Jane




Thursday, May 30, 2013

Working the Garden in Spring

Most of the intended garden is planted. Pea vines reaching up 3 inches, radish, turnip, and kohlrabi just peeking through the earth. In the outdoor beds only beans, a few gourds, squash left to plant.
In the high tunnel peppers, eggplant coming along nicely.  Tomatoes struggling, got too excited over a few warm days in early spring took them to the high tunnel. Whoa...Cold shocked when the night turned very cool.  It is amazing how they are coming back and hanging in.


Trying some herbs in soft fabric containers this year. Mostly from seeds. Wide leaf Parsley here.

Weeds, and quack grass flourishing..... digging, pulling, fighting weeds, not sure quack grass will ever be controlled.  :D

Gathering it up roots and all.  Taking far far away from garden.  Trying to keep water thieves away from vegetables and herbs.



And now a wet spell is upon us.  Great for those seeds and young plants.  Hope for some lovely warm sun after the rain and oh how the garden will grow.

So today I'll do laundry and Frank may bake.  

Enjoy your day!
   Jane

























Monday, May 27, 2013

Remembering on Memorial Day

Memorial Day, a time for reflection, remember those who served, who are currently serving. A time to hope for peace and understanding.
Photo credit: Unknown / Foter.com / Public Domain Mark 1.0
Zouave Civil War Ambulance

A child of a Civil War Buff, family vacations included time at Washington DC and Civil War battlefields.  We learned about  "Uncle Martin Elder" a  Zouavie in the American Civil War.

Family stories on Frank's side tell of an ancestor who survived Andersonville.

Ed Roe, my grandpa was on a ship to Europe when WWI ended. The soldiers were mustered out only to find that the jobs they had before enlisting in the military were gone. Many, such as Ed, found themselves out of work. Encouraged to serve but not honored or welcomed on their return.
Edward Roe and me circa 1950
Ed dreamed of being a business man, before enlisting he was a bookkeeper at the Railroad Roundhouse in Weston OH.  Upon returning Ed was told there was no place for him since he left his job to go off to war. Devastated at being pushed aside, unable to find other business opportunities he became a farmer. Not his first choice. He was intent on marrying Nellie, the love of his life and having a family.  He did what he could to earn a living and have a family.

WWII - my Dad and uncles, Onyx, Russell, George and Wilber served.

In closing a shout out to cousin Alvin who served in Peacekeeping status in Korea in the 1970s. To cousin Ron for service in Viet Nam. To sister-in-law Kathy, who served more recently.  And to husband Frank who spent 3 years in Viet Nam in the late 1960s.

To those who have died - may you rest in peace.

To those alive - may you live in peace and see war no more.

Thank you all!
   Jane

Sunday, May 5, 2013

More than making Puppets.....

The value of inter-generational crafting is far deeper than creating stuff.  Shared time working together develops a unique bond, an insight into how the other thinks and does things.  As two work together to make one item each becomes acquainted with  the other’s approach to a problem, the way they use their hands, eyes, and mind to solve a challenge.  What inspires them to keep working, what discourages them. 

The challenge for the adult is to facilitate rather than teach, to read the child’s interest, skill and need levels.  The adult is modeling, the child is absorbing words, movements, approaches to problems.  It is less about teaching steps to make a thing, it is more about discovery and working together to “make it work” and create the “thing” together.

For the adult it is being open to readiness in the child.  Yesterday, Dacia, a friend who owns and runs a Waldorf Inspired Child Care Center and I got together at her child care center for me to show her techniques in making puppets.  Her 5 yo came along.  We thought the 5yo would play with the familiar preschool toys and revel in having the toys all to herself.

No! The child pulled a tall chair up to our work table, climbed up so she could survey the work area and stated “When do we start sewing.”  She was offered several projects: a stitching block, a lacing project, a weaving project.  Something to keep her occupied and allow her to stay at the table with us as we focused on our intended path.

from Blueberry Forest
 Dacia showed me the stitching block, telling me how it works and demonstrating it.  She set it down, we moved on to discussing what she wanted to focus on making.  Plus  I asked her to share more about her approach to child care at Apple Blossom, how she envisioned using the puppets with the the children and more about the Waldorf philosophy and to help me understand what she, other teachers and parents need to promote family crafting. 

We lined things up, Dacia asked for suggestions on how improve a puppet she had make last summer.  While she began working, I set out supplies to make two more puppet heads & began making one.  During that time the child had picked up the stitching block, stitched it up and then undid the stitching.  Exactly what Dacia had explained to me about how it worked.  And by doing it, proved her interest in sewing and readiness to work at it. 

When invited to help make the puppet heads while her mom continued repairs, she quickly got down from her perch and pulled up a chair next to me.  While she does not have the hand skill and strength to fully complete a head all by herself, she could do some wrapping and mimic the steps I did. 

Working together on the two heads at once, began.  Passing the heads back and forth. Never undoing her efforts, simply tightening the ball by wrapping my layer tighter and giving her a smaller batt length.  Once we had two core balls, we worked together, all 4 hands smoothing and shaping to pull a coating layer over the core and tie it off.  Then she held, I tied.  Same with the fabric covering. 

As we all worked, Dacia shared concepts about Waldorf Dolls in general, what dolls are used by the children, which are used by adults for storytelling, etc.  The interplay of modeling, learning about Mother nature, respect, etc.  The young one adding details to the unfolding story.  Age 5.5 years, 40 something and 65years, we enjoyed shared experience and conversation.

Thanks for reading,
       Jane

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Spring Arrives, Come Walk with Me




Sun is up and shining bright,








 
Sky a brilliant blue









Birdsong fills the air,
Chirps and honks and cackles.
Robin walks along the path.         
Killdeer prance about,












Pussy Willows along the drive,
Soft paws dance on slender stems.





Rich fragrance rises from the earth.
In the shade, a subtle chill.
Thin ice skates on top the pond,
Where yesterday
snow melt flooded the road.



The sun feels hot,  the cows come out
To bask in the heat of the rays.







The Trumpeter Swans are flying in.
White landscape turning brown.




 And so our day begins.


Thanks for walking along with me as winter turns to spring here in Northern Minnesota.

                  Jane