Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Organic Learning and Growing

I love Wednesdays!  By the time Wednesday arrives I am usually tired and a little tangled.  K and I pack up for our morning playgroup visit at our local Rudolf Steiner School.  We are always greeted with smiles and warm tea.  The hillside upon which the school and farm sit is always sun drenched and we are immediately surrounded by living and growing produce.  Not only does the environment brighten my day, the time to watch my daughter grow does too, along with the mind and soul nourishing connections I get to make with the people at play group.

K (21months)  is making huge social development growth at the moment - a stage that is wonderful to observe.  She has always been one of those children who love the attention of adults so to see her interact with other children is beautiful.  Today was one of sharing, tolerance, listening and watching for her peers needs, turn taking, pushing carts together.  She and her new friend Maddie (two)  pushed their cart so fast down a slope that K hurt her foot.  She cried.  She really cried - for Mum.  However she bravely accepted the offer of Maddie's teddy and and cuddle from her.  All sorted they moved on to "peke peke" into the sand pit together.    Holding hands to circle time, K sang and made the actions to our songs then enjoyed our shared morning tea.  Just beautiful to watch.

Our group of parents are diverse but share the common interest into that which is Steiner.  Today I had two enriching discussions.

What is your constitution?

Maryanne - first time Mum and first time Steiner - er, just like me shared why we were contemplating this type of learning environment for our children.  She explained her awesome relationship with her friend who is a naturopath. Maryanne's son has a sulpher constitution.  He is quite, a thinker and approaches his world quite uniquely.   With a constitution of this type she is exploring the more holistic approach of Steiner for him which may allow his strengths to flourish, where state school may inhibit him by placing stress on him.  I just love how we can if we choose grow to understand how we as individuals are made up and deeply care about directions we can take or offer to our children. This small seed has given me the motivation to revisit the naturopath path I begin a year ago.  Perhaps understanding my daughters and my own constitution will strengthen my parenting.


Recently our media has given attention to the concept of "unschooling".   I think it is great that people are challenging and raising strongly based philosophies of life which they hold.  "Unschooling" is not new.  The principals of the concept are shared by Steiner I think.  My teaching philosophy also.  However the way schooling has been designed years ago on a factory based model has been restrictive to unschooling concepts which I believe are enduring.  Our second discussion at playgroup today was a sharing of what it is about Steiner education that is of benefit.  I heard concepts being shared such as holistic, creative, stage development rather than age development, the child first, allowing children to be children, recreating, social development of great importance, warmth, awareness of our world and others.  These concepts sit well with me, they are concepts to which are achievable in the state school sector however, it takes courageous teachers. leaders or communities to embrace these - in my opinion.

I really do love our Wednesdays for re grounding me in the pursuit of what I value and strive for - organic growing and learning.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Busy Book by Megan from Mousehouse

One of my favourite blog's is Mousehouse by Megan.  It is a gorgeous collection of all things domestic.  Written with class and style!  Megan has recently been nominated for  a Stylish Blogger Award by Stitchbird of Stitchbird Fabrics.  I love the reason Stitchbird gives for the nomination which includes acknowledging Megan's journey from non-sewer to such a sewer!

Megan is currently creating and constructing a "Busy Book" for her children.  It looks fantastic so far and will be brilliant and much loved when completed.  Please visit her Creative Space if you have not already seen this project.

This image by Megan from Mousehouse - an example of a page from her Busy Book.

Megan's busy book got me to thinking...perhaps I could co-ordinate a "Busy Book Block Swap" just like a quilters block swap.

Here are some of my initial thoughts:
 Someone might take zips, some one clips, a person for threading etc. Each participant makes a number of pages in their "theme" and we post off to each other. We would need specific dimensions, but I am sure it could work. 

Of course to make it work we need a group of people to show their interest, share their thoughts and I will get it all co-ordinated for us.  Then hopefully our little ones will have their own lovingly and creatively, kiwi made busy book to explore sometime this year!

Leave a comment to share your interest and ideas or if you would prefer send me an email - subject "Busy Book Block Swap"


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Oat Dear it's Autumn!

Autumn brings many gorgeous seasonal changes.  Sadly, I have learned over the years that my body doesn't like autumn and I seem to suffer from Seasonal Affect Disorder.  May be not this year as I am pregnant and SAD passed me over when I was pregnant with K.  Nevertheless,  oat recipes and doses of oats are added to everything - with their nutty flavour, iron giving properties and SAD combatting, nourishing goodness.

K and I tucked into porridge with honey and almonds. Yum.

Then we whipped up a batch of Blueberry, Oat and Chocolate Chip cookies. This recipe was an adapted version of this apricot and oat recipe from the Australian Taste website.  Super yum.

And then because our weather is rainy and dreary, and we had friends and their moving house team to nourish we made bagels with an oat and seed topping!

Our friends have successfully moved in and while they unwrap and unpack we will head back into the kitchen to make them some casserole love!

I would love to know your favourite oat recipe x

Personal note - must work on my photography!!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Crochet Fairy Set

My second crochet star-to-wand attempt is another gift for a very sparkly friend of K's.  This little friend is very special to K and I decided to extend on the wand idea for her.  Using Tangled Happy's original pattern  I embroidered an "L" onto this one to personalise it for Missy Moo.  Every sparkly fairy needs a pouch for fairy dust.  The pouch pattern I found online and was originally created as an apple cozy ( designed by Kristen TenDyke)...classic!  I loved the shape.  To complete the trio a puff stitch flower secured to a head band, as modeled by my gorgeousaur below.  

I am really enjoying my adventures in crochet and have to say another big thank you to Tangled Happy for the tantalising motivation.  Find the puff flower pattern at Easy by Tara - crochet extraordinaire!

Now, off to wrap the gift for the fairy - and begin my daughters set....which she keeps asking about! x

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My Creative Space - retro, garden and camo cake!

Well I have been in awe of many creative bloggers this year.  Intrigued to by their "Creative Space" posts. So this week I am being brave and entering the connected creative space world!!

In amongst my menagerie of creative moments and projects I enjoy cake making and creating.  Here are a few of my cake creations.

A camo wedding cake for a paintball themed wedding- with 75 cupcakes!  The wedding theme was beautifully and delicately woven into  the day.  The most remarkable bridal party bouquets of flowers surrounding a paintball gun I have or will ever see!

My daughter's first birthday cake creation for the theme of a "Garden" - her most favourite place.  This one was a collaborative effort between my sister and I.  She made the glorious butterfly biscuits.  As K is a mid winter baby I dressed the table with a spring time vintage theme to brighten and lighten the season.


My nephew's second birthday cake - for his real birthday.  His favourite insect.  His Mum made him a police car for his party the following day.  It was magnificent.

A retro caravan for the most amazing and dear friend ever.  This one was quite a challenge to give, as she is the queen of the most delicious birthday cakes ever and the cake itself was not as grand as the icing!

I am already looking forward to the next creative cake opportunity...yum x

Friday, March 18, 2011

From complete tangled mess to tangled happy success!

About a two months ago I crashed with the most severe chest infection I have ever experienced. Hating the compulsory rest I set about keeping my hands busy after being inspired by crochet bloggers.  I taught myself how to crochet.  At first I just made knots and tangled messes.  I had some "success" when I accidently created I pixie hat for a large big toe!

Please excuse the "just in from the playground toes"

From that point on I had learned enough from my mistakes and a few online tutorials later and a "star" was born!

Thank you to the wonderful Sara at Tangled Happy and her pattern I managed to finish my first crochet project - a wand!

The wand became a gift for my Ks little friend Mia who recently turned two.  I am so excited, because since this venture I have been keeping my hands busy creating handmade gifts for birthdays - inspired again by another Kiwi Mummy Blogger  at Fountain Head Inc .  I am relishing meeting my personal goals and have so many more crafty projects to share with you.  However, my hands are so busy that they don't seem to get time to be online!!  If you knew me, you would know that that is quite a miracle and a very good thing!

Stay tuned for an extended version of the wand, comets and a bunny!  Thanks so much to the mummy bloggers above x

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rolling, pushing, pulling, cooking.

Extending on her role play K has discovered and loves using the oven to bake her play dough creations.  Today she baked a cake and made mallows for her fluffy!    She is making more connections with other children now that she is becoming more familiar with the environment and has noticed that other children interact with her too - very exciting.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Discovering Role Play at Playcentre

Another busy morning! K not only discovered she could be a Dr, but that another little person enjoyed that too.  Magic to see her begin to "notice" new friends.
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