Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Walnut Hull and Black Tea Dye Bath

Last night, I left the wool in the walnut hull and black tea dye bath and today I found a richer brown with some chestnut tones and wondered just what sort of brown is a "bulb child" anyway...

I brought some in and compared. It works for me.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Beautiful Easter Eggs!

For beautiful Easter Eggs and a surprising and unusual technique, go over to Laura Pauli's blog Cucina Testa Rossa:
This is how they came out.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I wander'd lonely as a cloud 
That floats on high o'er vales and hills, 
When all at once I saw a crowd, 
A host, of golden daffodils; 
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. 

Continuous as the stars that shine 
And twinkle on the Milky Way, 
They stretch'd in never-ending line 
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance, 
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. 

The waves beside them danced; but they 
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: 
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company: 
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought 
What wealth the show to me had brought: 

For oft, when on my couch I lie 
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye 
Which is the bliss of solitude; 
And then my heart with pleasure fills, 
And dances with the daffodils. 

William Wordsworth. 1770–1850 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Dog

Yes, I added the word dog to the name of the blog for we have one woolly love named Moochi who is very much a part of the rhythm of our life from eating and sleeping to adventures and circle, he is there.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Peace Be in the Home ~ Simplicity Parenting

I promised more on Kim John Payne's Simplicity Parenting talk and here I deliver.

Kim Payne spoke of each child's quirk, that each child has a quirk and when cumulative stress is added to the child's life, the quirk + cumulative stress = disorder. When stress is removed, it looks like:

Quirk - Cumulative stress = Genius, the child's genius

Rudolf Steiner often said that the task of teachers is not to bring information but to remove hindrances in the child's life. The hindrances of our time are often small stress inducing acts that become cumulative and make for disorders in children.
Payne spoke of four pathways to support a healthy childhood, remove stress and make parenting simple:

1. Environment ~ T.M.S: short for Trash More Stuff
Kim John Payne spoke of stuff as a materialistic replacement of human relationships. His remedy is to pack it up in thick green trash bags, half of the toys, half of the books and half of the clothes in the house. Then go back and pack up half again. Start with our own stuff, then do the children's.

2. Rhythm, Predictability and Boundaries
Self regulation is built on rhythm. With a strong rhythm comes strength. Rhythm makes a predictable life. Knowing what to expect creates security for a child. Choices make a child feel unsafe. Children need their parents to be in charge, to form their world and keep it dependable. When a parent upholds a rule, the child knows she can count on the parent to mean what the parent says, that the parent is trustworthy and true. This creates a feeling of safety for the child. The child can let go of worrying about what will come next and play like a child, give up all their very being to play, when the child knows the parent is in charge. (I am expounding here with my own words and emphasis)

Kim Payne used the phrase, " We do this" as an example of how to bring it to the child, "We have lunch now" "We wash our hands before lunch" Simple. Clear. Predictable. No excess verbiage, no explanations. This is how it is. We do this. This is consistent with what I've learned, observed and used with Waldorf early childhood - to gently guide the child to what we do want and to be the model, worthy of imitation. 

From this secure, "We do this" develops the ability to self-regulate, resiliency and the "I am."

3. Scheduling
Kim Payne asked parents if we see childhood as an enrichment opportunity or an unfolding? He said we are super-phosphating our children. And anyone who knows about farming knows that super phosphates destroy the breeding ground. He said that boredom is good. Children need to be bored, really bored. And we need to be present with them when they need us. Through play, children digest the sensory world. Children need deep creative play to digest their world. And with good digestion of their world comes good, restful sleep at night.

4. Filter Out the Adult World ~ the media, screens, radio, television, movies, videos and conversations
With conversation, Payne says to ask ourselves three questions before speaking in the presence of children. Are the words we are about to use:
  • Kind? 
  • True? 
  • Necessary?
If they are not all three: kind, true, and necessary, not to speak them.

Payne described home as a place of peace, of decompression, a sanctuary from the world. He encouraged adults to avoid looping news reports through out the day, to minimize our exposure. He referred to nature as Soul Arnica. He emphasized telling a story over reading a story. Yet reading a story too, as part of a weekly rhythm. With the older child, he suggests discussing the reading and making time for the child to digest it by talking about it. The younger child will digest stories through play.

Kim Payne said that even for the most stressed children, it is art and play that provides a soothing balm: singing, clay, puppets, drawing and[painting.

Kim Payne said do what is real for you, start small, sweat the small stuff. Let peace be here, in the home.

May Lady Spring Smile on You!

For more on Simplicity Parenting, including articles and videos of Kim John Payne and more on Kim John Payne including some really good articles.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Kim John Payne

Kim John Payne spoke in City Hall last night. Today he is doing a workshop at the Waldorf School. What an engaging speaker he is! He described Cumulative Stress in children as a malaise akin to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He recommends four steps to take to reduce stress for children. Can you guess what one of them is? That's right, to bring Rhythm, Predictability and Boundaries to the child's life so the child feels secure in the world and has room for play, for boredom, for the great out breath. He discussed his research and how he found that this and the other three steps to foster simplicity (more on them after the workshop) foster brain growth and learning and eliminate so many of the hindrances for the "D" generation (A.D.D., A.D.H.D., O.C.D., O.D.D.)

I'm riding my bike there and that means mud.

Better be off in case I get stuck in the mud!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Onion Skins and Coffee Drips

I am saving the drips from the espresso machine and pouring them into a jar.

They look pretty dark.

I went into the basement and brought out my old onion skin collection.

Lots of them waiting to make a dye bath..........

Do you have wool for the bulb child, are you going to dye it?

continues here

Friday, March 5, 2010


March roars in like a lion so fierce,
the wind so cold, it seems to pierce.
The month rolls on and Spring draws near,
and March goes out like a lamb so dear

Let's hope the poet, Lorie Hill is right!
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