Saturday, September 27, 2008

Michaelmas Festivities

Michaelmas is a time for recognizing the inner struggles of light and shadow, as illustrated by the stories of St. George slaying the dragon. Or, as in the version of the beautiful play we watched, the dragon is spared with a promise to do no more harm. It was beautifully captured with the tale dictated, as the actor's gestures filled the words with meaning. The strength in the iron sword, made of light of the stars, seemed to me, to represent the light in ourselves, which give us the fortitude to see through the dark nights of the soul, those times of dismay and fear. The light of our hearts keep us strong through the waning of the year, as the days grow shorter and darker. We learn to keep faith, believe in good, and find inner strength to move forward. It was wonderful to watch my girls take in the gestures and words of the play, and see their faces light up in delight. And to complete the festivities we shared a potluck feast, fit for kings and queens!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Needle Felting and Walnut shell Turtles

I have picked up my felting needle again! I started with a simple pumpkin based on the Living Crafts magazine (Fall issue) project. Theirs actually calls for wet felting with a rubber ball, and making it a pumpkin box. Then I got really inspired thanks to my friend, Kate, who hosted a needle felting class and showed us how to make figures. It was fun to be among others who can appreciate the joy of beautiful wool rovings in a rainbow of color! Today, I brought a story and project to Vivienne's Kindergarten classroom. I read the book Emma's Turtle, a sweet tale about a pet turtle who longs to see the world, and sets out on his own adventure. I found the project in All Year Round, one of my all-time favorite sources for seasonal crafts. We made turtles out of plasticine clay and walnut shells. The kids were thrilled with their creations, and it was such fun to share the time with them.

~the whole family of turtles from Ms. Elana's class!~ We celebrated Autumn Equinox with an apple bread (made from the orchards apples we just picked) and homemade vanilla icecream. Apples are one thing that I can eat every day and not get tired of them. The kids seem to be the same way. Vivienne had a really fun time on Sunday, turning the crank of a vintage cider press. It was an all day affair at the Long Branch orchards, picking, sorting, washing , then grinding, sifting and pouring the fresh juice. The kids were so proud of their jugs of cider.

~Our friend, Lily, in the abundance of apples~
~Jasper helping with the apple washing~

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tweet Inspirations

Jasper is one lucky boy! He gets to represent my good friend, Moni's, new line of adorable wearables. And it also happens to be his very favorite "birdy shirt" that he asks to wear. Check out Moni's new website here! As well as her inspiring artwork here~

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Apple Season

Here stands a good apple tree;

Stand fast at root, bear well at the top,

Every little twig, bear an apple big,

Every little bough, bear an apple now.

Hats full! Caps full! Threescore sacks full!

Hullo, boys, hullo!

What a delight it was to make a trip out to Long Branch Environmental Educational Center and pick from their stunning orchard of heirloom apples. The trees were drooping with ripe, beautiful apples. They grow something like 52 heirloom varieties, and they thrive in the unique conditions of this high altitude farm.

We also filled up on blueberries and a few handfuls of raspberries, too. The kids had a adventuresome bramble-blazing maze guide, Steve, who volunteers at the Center. He shared so much rich information on the wild flowers, the gardens, the wildlife. We awed at the touch-me-not (also known as jewelweed), whose seeds pop out at the slightest touch and pods curl into a stunning snail-shell squiggle. The wild flowers were plentiful, and the the girls befriended numerous toads . I am eager to return for the hiking trail, which sounds amazing.

It was the perfect outing for re-connecting to nature. I find that I spend all too much time indoors, without even noticing what I am missing.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Busy Days

The weeks seem to really fly by now that the girls are in school. I am just starting to feel like I am getting into the swing of the new schedule. Now I need to work in my creative time, and take some more photos! Here are a few sweet ones of Vivienne and Ginger bunny. Vivi loves to feed and care for Ginger, it has been a really good experience for the family to have a pet.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Weekend Fun

It is always a treat to have a long weekend to relax together as a family. We enjoyed a wonderful bike ride on the Bent Creek trail yesterday, and a picnic lunch together. Today we visited with our friends at the Bird Sanctuary and played at the favorite Castle park! I also finally found my sewing machine cord and was able to finish sewing the nap mat cover and pillow for Vivienne's read-&-rest time at school. I got the fabric from a Goodwill find - it was a new-in-package curtain panel which happened to be the perfect size for my project! I love Goodwill. And now I want to get back into sewing. I already have a list of to-do's : table napkins and runner, curtains and kitchen tea towels.
~Vivi's pillow and mat cover~