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.

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!

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!

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,