Summertime Inspiration

Painting Suns

Summertime is here! For many families summer is a sweet time of lazy days and icy juice pops, swimming and reading and sleeping in. My boys have a few summer camp adventures this summer, and we have a couple of camping trips planned. It’s shaping up to be a lovely time.

Right now, my coauthor, Eileen Straiton of Little Acorn Learning, and I are offering a sale on our Midsummer Festival E-Book. From now through June 30, if you buy the Midsummer Festival E-Book at the sale price of $19.99, you’ll also get the Summer Festivals Cookbook! Together these two e-books provide wonderful ideas for filling summertime with festivities, food, and delightful Waldorf-inspired crafts, songs, poems, and more. Please tell a friend!

Midsummer Festival E-Book Is Now ON SALE!

Our labor of love will bring the magic of summer into your home and help you keep celebrating throughout the season!  It is packed full of Waldorf songs, stories, verses, crafting tutorials and much more to help you celebrate Midsummer and the Summer Solstice with the children in your home, classroom, or childcare environment.

  • Read stories and fairy tales filled with sunshine to the children
  • Enjoy verses, songs, poems and fingerplays that celebrate the coming of summer
  • Learn about the history, background and symbolism of the Summer Solstice
  • Get ideas for how to create your own meaning for this special festival
  • Enjoy a Solstice feast
  • Play Solstice games
  • Make a Midsummer bonfire
  • Create simple beeswax suns with the children
  • Make a Solstice wreath for the birds
  • Design Midsummer string art sunbursts
  • Read a story of The Sun Child and create a Sun Child necklace
  • Craft a shiny garden suncatcher
  • Use a rock garden sundial to tell time in your garden
  • Make a “Catch the Sun” throw toy for your child
  • Create a paper Solstice Sun
  • Create daytime and nighttime Midsummer magic
  • Hang summer Solstice flags indoors or outdoors this season
  • Plant a Midsummer indoor herb garden
  • Craft a sun mosaic birdbath
  • Make a sunshine fairy out of wool roving and felt
  • Sew and stuff herbal dream pillows for St. John’s Eve
  • Needle-felt a summer sun wall hanging
  • Create sweet Pocket Sun Sprites for the children
  • Bake sun bread with the children
  • Go on a sun hunt
  • Make a sun mask
  • Design a sunshine banner
  • Crochet sun medallion necklaces

Here are some teaser pics from the e-book. We hope they ignite your interest and inspire you to fill your days with sweet sunshine!

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Wishing you delicious, sweet moments all summer long!

Advent Is Here, St. Nick Is Coming

St. Nicholas #waldorf #waldorfhome #festivals #holiday #needlefelting

I am sometimes a late bloomer, or adopter, or whatever. Advent has arrived, but half of us were sick, so, we’re … um … easing into it. We will catch up. We will slowly begin to set up for Christmas.

Do you ever find your energy for festivals and family celebrations waning? I do, sometimes. This time of year can be so overwhelming. I try to remember that my To-Do list only exists in my mind—no one else can see it. No one’s judging me when I don’t get to things I intend to do. No one knows but me. So I try to set my intentions, make my priorities clear to myself, and then let the rest go. If it happens, great! If it doesn’t, that’s OK too. As important as rhythm is, balance and sanity are just as necessary in family life. We’re only human.

One of the things that I find to be a little difficult these days is preserving the festivals for my younger son, while my older son ages past them. Not that Lucas is done with Christmas or Halloween, or really anything with treats, but he’s getting a little blasé about the stories and myths surrounding our holidays. We work hard to infuse beauty and joy and wonder into our home and family life. And keeping the magic alive for Asher is important to me. But children grow—out of some things and into others—and that’s as it should be. As a tween, Lucas is sometimes a bit lukewarm about things, and that attitude can affect my ebullient, sanguine 7-year-old, who is living into these festivals with his whole self.

There we are.

St. Nicholas’s Day is upon us (tomorrow, Saturday, December 6). We talked about St. Nicholas at breakfast this morning. Asher had lots to say because he’s been hearing stories about the Bishop of Myrna at school. He is excited for St. Nicholas to come! And he remembered that St. Nicholas brings yummy oranges. I’m sure something exciting is happening today at school. St. Nicholas and Rupert have visited the classes at school before. We’ll polish our shoes tonight, and see if any small goodies come for tomorrow morning. Simple and small is best. I’ve spiffed up my St. Nicholas nature table doll, who is a few years old now. He’s looking pretty dapper again, ready to bring goodies to the world’s children and to herald the coming of the Winter Sun King.

In honor of St. Nicholas’s Day, Eileen and I are having a one-day sale on our Advent and St. Nicholas Festival E-Book today only (December 5)! It’s available for half price ($9.99) at http://www.littleacornlearning.com.

The e-book offers poems, stories, songs, crafts, and many special ways that families, schools, or childcare professionals can celebrate a simple, peaceful month of December. We wrote this e-book with the hope we might help people create thoughtful, heartfelt holidays, with less frenzied commercialism and more togetherness time.

Advent Mosaic 10 x 3

This mosaic is a peek at what’s in our Advent and St. Nicholas Festival E-Book. Many thanks for reading this far, and for spreading the word to anyone who might be interested in our offering. And whatever you do this month to celebrate whichever holidays you celebrate, do it with simplicity, love, and joy. Blessings of the season on you and your loved ones!

 

NEW Martinmas and Thanksgiving E-Book

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It’s been a very busy couple of weeks, and I wish I had had time to blog about Halloween sooner and our beautiful trip into the foothills last weekend, but I wasn’t able to. My writing partner, Eileen, and I were working hard to complete another festivals e-book for our series. And we made it happen just in time! I’m proud to announce the NEW Martinmas & Thanksgiving Festival E-Book.

It had been more than a year since our last festival book was released from Little Acorn Learning, and I have to say, I have really missed crafting and writing with Eileen. She is a wonderful, inspiring woman. She cares so much about her family and her community, and she is a powerhouse of inspiration and creativity. Everywhere she goes, she leads others to a more wholesome, soulful experience. She certainly has done so for me a hundred times over.

Here is a mosaic of some of the photos in our new e-book offered as a teaser:

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This volume is the SEVENTH (oh my gosh!) volume in our series of Festival E-Books designed to help you find a way into the natural and religious festivals that honor the earth and our human community. This book includes the festivals of Martinmas, or Saint Martin’s Day, and Thanksgiving. Although not everyone celebrates the North American holiday of Thanksgiving, we feel the twin themes of generosity and gratitude that weave throughout this e-book are universally recognized and cultivated, no matter where you live. We have endeavored to provide inspiration and celebration ideas that will help you create fulfilling and joyful holidays in your home or classroom.

This Martinmas & Thanksgiving Festival E-Book contains a nature-based religious perspective as well as Christian and Native American perspectives on the abundant and happy season of harvest, when we gather together to celebrate the great bounty of the earth and our beautiful human community. There is, in our opinion, some overlap of autumn symbols and traditions, and we feel they can coexist in the context of the late autumn festivals in peace.

We hope you enjoy our e-book. It can be purchased on the Little Acorn Learning website here, and if you look around on Little Acorn Learning you will find many more delightful products there.

Authors:
~ Eileen Straiton, 
Little Acorn Learning
~ Sara Wilson, Love in the Suburbs

Contents
*Beautiful Book Recommendations
*St. Martin and Martinmas Customs
*Martinmas Verses and Songs
*Christ Appears to Saint Martin Tale
*A Very Old Story About St. Martin’s Eve
*Organize a Saint Martin’s Cloak Coat Drive
*Horsehoe Cookies Recipe
*The Autumn Ball
*Autumn Simmer Pot
*Preserving Leaves with Beeswax Tutorial
*The Robin
*St. Martin Weckmann and Afternoon Tea Recipe
*Martinmas Puppet Show
*Martinmas Lanterns Tutorial
*Easy Painted Lanterns Tutorial
*Lantern Walk
*Saint Martin Chant
*Lantern Bearer Transparency Tutorial
*Caregiver Meditation: Living Peacefully
*Martinmas Mandala Tutorial
*Games for Martinmas Time
*Fall Fabric Wreath Tutorial
*Autumn Leaf Candles Tutorial
*Harvest Mother Doll Tutorial
*Thanksgiving Leaf Mobile Tutorial
*Easy Autumn Leaf Garland Tutorial
*Kindness at My Table Tutorial
*Cornhusk Placemats Tutorial
*Why all Men Love the Moon Fable
*Giving Thanks
*Games for Thanksgiving Time
*Thanksgiving Verses and Songs
*Turkey Window Transparency Tutorial
*Caregiver Meditation: Gratitude
*Family Gratitude Journal
*Welcome to the Table
*Thanksgiving Poetry and Quotations
*Involving Children in Preparing the Thanksgiving Feast:
-Homemade Cranberry Sauce Recipe
-Bold and Beautiful Carrot Dip Recipe
-Baby Butter Jar Recipe
-Thanksgiving Squash Soup and Roasted Squash Seeds Recipe
-Chip-Chop Roasted Vegetables Recipe
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Tutorial: Michael’s Sword Napkin Holders for Michaelmas

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Can you feel it in the air? Michaelmas is coming!

This craft project is one that I created for the Autumn Equinox and Michaelmas Festival E-Book published by Little Acorn Learning. I’m posting it here courtesy of Little Acorn Learning. Please take a moment to look at all the fun projects and crafts and celebration ideas offered in our e-book. It provides so many wonderful, Waldorf-inspired ideas for enjoying this early fall season.

Michael’s Sword Napkin Holders

This simple craft project is one that the kids can do mostly on their own, with a little supervision. The napkin holders are a perfect special touch for your holiday table and a special Michaelmas meal.

Materials

  • toilet paper rolls (each makes two napkin holders)
  • masking tape
  • wide popsicle sticks
  • narrow half-size popsicle sticks
  • heavy-duty scissors
  • sandpaper
  • blue acrylic paint (or your preferred color)
  • yellow watercolor paint
  • paintbrushes
  • mod podge
  • gold glitter (optional)
  • low temperature glue gun and glue stick

Tutorial

Cut your toilet paper holders into halves. Try not to squish them too much. Wrap each ring with masking tape. It can be smooth or bumpy.

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With your blue acrylic paint, paint the tape covered rings thoroughly and let them dry.

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With heavy-duty scissors, cut one end of a wide popsicle stick to a point. If your stick splits, discard it and try another.

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With sandpaper, sand the pointed end so that it’s smooth and without splinters. This is the sword blade.

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Paint all of the sword blades and the same number of short popsicle sticks with a wash of golden watercolor paint. Let the pieces dry. When the blue rings are completely dry, coat them with a coat of mod podge. Paint it on just like paint. Let them dry again.

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With a little mod podge, you can add just a little gold glitter to your blue rings. Less is more for this step, or simply skip this part, if you prefer. Let the rings dry completely.

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Meanwhile, arrange your sword blades and cross pieces. Be sure all the wood pieces are completely dry before attempting to glue them. Apply a small dot of hot glue to the sword blade, add the cross piece, and press firmly. Repeat this for all the swords. (Supervise the kiddos during this stage. The little swords may be VERY exciting!)

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Add a little wavy line of hot glue to your dry blue ring.

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Quickly add a sword and press it down firmly.

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Let them set. Store the napkin rings someplace safe until the Michaelmas festival arrives.

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For your special Michaelmas meal, ask the children to pull a pretty napkin through each Michael sword napkin ring and set the table.

Check out the other ideas for a special Michaelmas meal in the Autumn Equinox and Michaelmas Festival E-Book published by Little Acorn Learning. Here is a teaser of all the sweet projects you’ll find in the e-book. Click on the link or the mosaic picture. Eileen Straiton and I would be honored if you would share. xo

Taste of the Contents of Our Autumn Equinox & Michaelmas Festival E-Book

133 PAGES of verses, fingerplays, poems, song, crafts, meditations, book recommendations, circle times, recipes, and much more to guide you in celebrating the Autumn Equinox and Michaelmas

in your home or school!
  • Needle Felt a Beautiful Apple Mother Doll
  • Go on an Apple Picking Field Trip and Learn
    About Different Varieties of Apples
  • Design a Breathtaking Early Autumn Nature Table
  • Read Books with the Children Celebrating
    Autumn and Michaelmas
  • Make Your Own Apple Stamps
  • Enjoy Homemade Applesauce Together
  • Crochet an Apple for Your Nature Table or Play Kitchen
  • Create a Beautiful Autumn Candle Holder Centerpiece
  • Make an Archangel Michael Mobile
  • Harvest Natural Dye Materials from Outdoors and
    Make Capes of Light Playsilks
  • Hold a Michaelmas Family Feast
  • Create Dragons out of Nature Items
  • Bake Dragon Bread with the Children
  • Make a Dragon Tree Block Checker Set
  • Sculpt Dragons out of Modeling Material
  • Cut Out Paper Flying Dragons to Display on Your Wall
  • Make a Michaelmas Felt Play Set
  • Paint an Autumn Leaf Stencil Painting with Watercolors
  • Crochet Beautiful Autumn Leaves for Your Nature Table
  • Paint Your Own Interpretation of Michael and the Dragon
  • Look Inward and Face Your Own Dragons with our Caregiver Meditation
  • Share Verses and Songs About Autumn and Michaelmas
  • Meditate on Quotes from Steiner and Other Inspirational Individuals
  • Enjoy Pinecone Weaving
  • Share Circle Time Together
  • Make Michael Sword Napkin Holders
  • Sculpt Michaelmas Worry Beads
  • Craft an Autumn Equinox Wreath

So, if you’re wondering how to make this time of year feel magical, this e-book may be just what you need. Thanks for peeking!

Only $24.99

Authors:
~ Eileen Straiton,
Little Acorn Learning

~ Sara Wilson, Love in the Suburbs

With Guest Contribution from Jennifer Tan, Syrendell

 

 

Tutorial: Making Leprechauns

Leprechaun Dolls for Asher and Lucas

Sew some clothes for bendy dolls to make them look like sweet Leprechaun friends. They make wonderful friends for your kids to play with this time year and older children can make their own with supervision. Or make leprechauns in secret and have them magically appear on the morning of St. Patrick’s Day!

Materials

* wool, wool-blend, or eco felt in various greens
* rope bendy doll body
* embroidery floss
* yarn or wool roving for hair
* white glue

Tutorial

Measure the doll’s body to get a sense of how long the shirt or dress should be. Using these measurements, draw a simple shirt or dress pattern on paper and cut it out. I recommend using generous proportions. Lay the paper pattern on a doubled piece of felt and cut it out. (Make trousers the same way, first drawing a pattern and cutting out the felt.)

Leprechaun Doll and Notebook for Lucas

For a waist band, simply do a running stitch around the top of the skirt or trousers. Pull it tight. For added security, you could glue the skirt or pants onto the doll’s wooden body.

No hemming is necessary with felt, although you can put a pretty blanket stitch along the bottom of a shirt, skirt, or dress to make it even more attractive.

You could even cut out a small shamrock shape for a decoration and sew it to the front of your doll’s shirt, skirt, or dress. Or embellish the front of the outfit with pretty embroidery. (I’m not good at that kind of decorative stitching.)

Leprechaun Doll and Notebook for Lucas

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Don’t forget to make a jaunty hat! Experiment with your felt and fold it to fashion a hat—any shape you like will do. I made one hat out of a half-circle of felt, stitched up the curved front so the top points backward. Another hat I made by folding a rectangle of felt to make two layers, then folding it around my doll’s head to make a cone, and sewing it along the top and back.

Glue hair, either yarn or wool roving, onto the wooden head and then glue on the hat. Your Leprechauns are now ready for gentle play.

Preparing for the Solstice

Homemade decoration for #Solstice and #Yule . #stars #pentacle #vine #wreath #laurel #bay #homemade #holiday #home #waldorf

This year, the shortest day of the year comes on a Saturday, so I’m dreaming of a family celebration. Something simple. A special sunny meal. Some art perhaps. A fire in the fireplace. Although we celebrate Christmas in our home, I also have a need for a modest, private, no-fuss solstice night on our terms.

I’m thinking avgolemono soup.

I’m thinking salad with persimmons, mandarins, apples, and pomegranate seeds, with a touch of orange blossom water—but not on Asher’s portion because he thinks it’s gross.

I’m thinking a sunny, honey cake.

I’m thinking of a simple craft we can do together.

Solstice

We have a second important reason to celebrate the winter solstice. It is the second anniversary of this sweet fellow being in our lives. I realize it might be confusing: My dog is named Solstice because he came to us on the winter solstice two years ago. He was and is the best solstice present ever given to any four people ever.

#advent #solstice #Yule #sun #shadow

This week I had Asher home sick for three days. It was a sweet kind of time together, as it forced me to slow down and step away from my work. We read lots of books together (“Read me more about castles, Mama”) and did some Christmas preparations that otherwise probably wouldn’t have been done. For example, I made a long evergreen garland for the eave at my front door.

Making an evergreen garland for my front door

Improved #Yule #garland #homemade #holiday #Solstice

It’s quite long and pretty, made of fir branches, plus some box, redwood, lemon leaf, and bay accents, and features some simple homemade ornaments: wooden stars, toadstools, spirals. It’s very festive for Yule.

#stars #waldorf #Solstice #Yule #homemade #wood #crafts

We made the pretty pentacle at the top with Virginia creeper vines that Asher cut and I wove into a wreath. We accented its points with bay leaves polished with a touch of olive oil.

We made wooden star ornaments for teacher gifts and painted them “emperor gold.”

Sun

Asher played at being a Sun Warrior. He came up with this outfit on his own, and then asked me to do a photo shoot while he jumped and ran around the backyard with a sword and a “spear.” My little Apollo. We got some great action shots. (Why is it that kids are most sick at night and the morning, when it’s time to go to school, but not very sick at all in the middle of the day?)

Third week of Advent #advent #holiday #home #candles #adventwreath

We have observed Advent, and Asher has gradually added more and more stone, plant, and animal items to our Advent wreath. (He snuck a Bob the Builder doll in there too.)

Mother Mary is moving along her sky path of Advent stars #advent #countdown #mary #waldorf #stars

We’ve watched Mother Mary progress along her sky path of stars on her way to Christmas Day.

Playing with wire and thinking about the coming solstice #improvisation #wire #gold #sun #suncatcher #sculpture

I finally found a way to use some gold colored wire that I salvaged from a school fundraiser auction event several years ago. (Why do I keep this stuff for years? Oh, because occasionally I actually DO something with it.) Anyway, it’s very soft, pliable stuff and I made some sun ornaments from it. They’re not fancy, but are shiny and pretty.

So, that’s what’s going on as we enter into this holy week. Whatever holiday you observe, I hope you can gather your family together, either in body or in spirit, and take some time to reflect on what’s most important to you. This moment in our solar year is perfect for listening to your quietest, innermost voice. What is yearning to be born in this moment of stillness? What spark is born in the darkness?

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” —Albert Camus

Advent and St. Nicholas E-Book on Sale

Advent & Saint Nichoals Festival E-Book

Well, here it is, Advent already. I’m not too great at marketing, but this is to let you know that my co-author Eileen and I are having a sale on our Advent and St. Nicholas Festival E-Book until December 7,2013. The sale price is $9.99—half off the regular price of $19.99.

It offers poems, stories, songs, crafts, and many special ways that families, schools, or childcare professionals can celebrate the whole month of December with children.

A measured, calm approach to the winter holidays gives children time to dream, live into the stories of their faith and the season, and count the days of Advent. Children can savor the passing of time with peaceful, delicious anticipation and gentle, useful activity, rather than experience the holiday as a single, frenzied, blowout day that is over all too soon. A peaceful Advent full of simple pleasures and togetherness is what they’ll remember later, not the package-ripping and specific, expensive gifts. We wrote this e-book with the intent of helping families create a thoughtful, heartfelt approach to the holidays, with less rushing commercialism and more togetherness time.

Advent Mosaic 10 x 3

This mosaic is a peek at what’s in our Advent and St. Nicholas Festival E-Book. Click on the title  or any of these photos to be taken to the full description of the e-book contents and place to buy it, on the Little Acorn Learning store. Many thanks for reading this far, and for spreading the word to anyone who might be interested in our offering.

Blessings of the season on you and your loved ones!

Humble Cornhusk Flowers

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Cornhusks are a humble but versatile natural material. These protective sheaths from ears of corn, when dried, can be used in many lovely crafts. Here is a way to turn simple, natural cornhusks into flowers fit for decorating your family’s Thanksgiving table, adorning special gifts, or as accents for fall wreaths. If the children in your life need something special to do on Thanksgiving day, this is a fun, inexpensive, and rewarding activity.

Materials

• package of cornhusks from the Mexican food aisle of your grocery store
• 4-inch floral picks with thin wire at one end (floral wire on a spool can be used instead)
• green floral tape
• food dyes (optional)

Cornhusks come out of the package as wrapped triangles that are broad at one end and fairly narrow at the other. For these flowers, you’ll be splitting a large triangular cornhusk into strips of about 1 inch wide at the wide end. These strips will naturally taper to a point at the other end. It’s really not important to be precise in splitting the strips. These will end up being your flower’s petals. Make about five or six strips and then set them aside.

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Take a cornhusk triangle and cut the bottom narrow half off so that you have in your hand the widest part. Lay a floral pick in the center with the wire pointing down and laying beside the wooden stem.

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Now roll the cornhusk into a tight tube around this floral pick. The top will look something like the above photo.

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Pull the free end of the wire up, letting it split the cornhusk in one spot, then wrap it tightly around the rolled husk with the pick inside. This is the finished center of your flower.

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Now it’s time to add your petals. Many petal styles look great. One style is to take a strip of cornhusk (about 1 inch wide at its wide end) and fold it very gently over onto itself, making a loop. Hold both ends and place them next to your flower’s center. With one hand holding the flower’s center and the first petal, repeat the folding over of the next petal with your free hand. Add it to the flower. Repeat this until you have three to six petals ringing your flower’s center. Hold all the petals to the flower center with one hand.

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Gently stretch the floral tape slightly, and then place the tape’s end on top of your petals where they join the flower’s center (where the base of the flower is). Begin wrapping the tape around and around your flower’s stem by spinning the flower while keeping the tape gently stretched so it sticks nicely to the previous layer of tape. Work the floral tape all the way down the flower’s base and onto the wooden floral pick stem to its very end. You now have one complete flower, something like this one below.

Cornhusk Flower

Cornhusk flowers can be made with many variations.

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Another way of making flower petals is to unfold a whole cornhusk and cut dags into it every inch or so. Cut the narrow end of the cornhusk off and then wrap these dagged petals around your flower’s center.

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You can then gently pull the petals away from the center and curl them slightly with a finger or a pencil after you have them secured with floral tape. This can result in a lovely lily shape.

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You can also round the ends of your petals like so. In the photo above, you can see that I split the flower’s center into narrow strips and bent them to achieve a different look for the flower’s stamens.

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Some flowers have centers that extend beyond the petals. In some flowers, the opposite is true, and you can trim them to be shorter than the surrounding petals.

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Another possibility is to roll a folded cornhusk to make a center like in the photo above. This one looks more like a rose.

Finally, if you’d rather your cornhusk flowers have colors instead of being natural color, that’s easy to achieve by soaking the cornhusks in a bath of water with food dye. Before you begin making flowers, you’ll have to let your dyed cornhusks dry completely, but that should take only a day or so. Food dyes will achieve pastel colors. If you want vibrant colors, you can dye the cornhusks with fabric dyes. Imagine the possibilities!

Cornhusk Flowers

Cornhusk Flowers

Here’s my humble cornhusk flower bouquet and table decoration. Will these flowers grace your Thanksgiving table?

Tutorial: Make an Herbal Dream Pillow for St. John’s Day

herbal pillow

This article is excerpted from our Midsummer Festival E-Book.

Herbs harvested at Midsummer and during the Feast of Saint John (June 24, 2013) are said to be especially magical. Certain herbs, such as mugwort, laurel, sage, or marigold petals, are believed to give prophetic dreams if placed under a pillow at night! Will it work, do you think? Wouldn’t it be fun to find out?

It’s best to use dried herbs for your dream pillow. You’ll need two squares of muslin, two squares of yellow cotton fabric (about 5” by 5”), sewing machine, needle and thread, dried herbs, and a hot iron.

Cut your muslin squares to be about ½ inch smaller than your yellow squares. Sew around the muslin squares, leaving a 2 inch gap. Cut the corners off, but don’t cut into the stitching (this makes the pillow easier to turn inside out). Now turn your pillow inside out and iron it flat. Spoon in your dried herbs. Use a needle and thread to stitch up the hole. Now make the yellow pillow case. Put your “right” or pretty sides together. Sew around the three sides and the corners of the fourth side using a ¼ inch seam. Cut off the inside-out corners as before. Turn the pillow right side out. Use a pencil to make the corners look nice. Iron the yellow pillow case flat. Insert the inner muslin pillow into the yellow case. Turn in ¼ inch seam at the opening and iron it. Now sew up the fourth side, using a top stitch.

Now place your herbal dream pillow under your head before bedtime. Perhaps you’ll dream of the future! Or perhaps you’ll have amazing, fanciful dream that you can write down in a dream journal or draw a picture of in the morning.

Midsummer Festival E-Book

For more fun midsummer crafts, herb lore, Waldorf verses, handwork, and ways to celebrate Midsummer and St. John’s Day, please check out the Midsummer Festival E-Book by yours truly, Sara Wilson of Love in the Suburbs, and the fabulously talented Eileen Straiton of Little Acorn Learning. Click the link or the cover photo above to go directly to the page to find out more.

Imperfection and Joy

There’s a lot of that going on around me and inside me. I have had so many great posts brewing in my mind lately, but have managed to get exactly none of them onto this blog, for lots of reasons. I wanted to write about Earth Day, and about our first trip to the SCA, and so many other things. I have been otherwise occupied with important things, though beyond work and family and service to others, I’m not sure I could tell you what they were.

At the moment, I’m sick, although I feel a bit better than I did yesterday afternoon, when I was feverish and achy.

Yesterday was my sweet son’s eleventh birthday, and I can tell you it did not fall neatly into “perfect” like I had hoped.

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He, too, was sick and stayed home from school for two days, including his birthday. This was disappointing because one always gets special attention on one’s birthday. I felt so bad for him, missing that opportunity. So, yeah. Imperfect. We managed to give him his gifts in the morning, and before I got ill I cooked him a special breakfast.

Ian came home from work for a while to stay with him when I went out. They finished watching “The Two Towers,” which is something they can do only when Asher is not at home, so there were a few perks to the day. But no cake and ice cream. No dinner out at the restaurant of his choice. We improvised the best we could. Ian went out for take-out Chinese food and brought home ice-cream sandwiches for the boys.

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He woke up to this—a cool new mountain bike with 24-inch tires and, like, a 100 gears or something. 21? And his collection of dragon books grew considerably.

IMG_5356 Darth Vader headlamp

Grandpa gave him a nifty LEGO Darth Vader headlamp. You know, for reading under the covers late at night.

upload upload upload Birthday/May Day flowers

So while this birthday didn’t meet my expectations, it was OK. It was imperfect and still joyful. Eleven is rather mature, I’ve decided. Although Lucas was sad when we took his temp and told him he couldn’t go to school, he adapted to the new plan of staying home relatively quickly. He understood when I worked a bit during the day. He understood when I napped. He understood when I collapsed on the couch at 5 p.m. and started mumbling with fever. He took it in stride. There were plenty of snuggles.

And as the day wore on, I was well mothered by my sweet children, who told me they were worried about me, and wished I was feeling well. It’s so wonderful to see how they express care and concern and empathy for me at times like this. It makes me feel like we’re doing a great job in raising them. (Thank you, Ian, for doing all the heavy lifting of the evening.)

I’m glad that Lucas is well again. He trooped off to school today, with his violin and a big box of homemade chocolate chip cookies to share with his class in celebration of his birthday. (I’m grateful that I made those on Tuesday night so they were ready to go this morning.) And I am home today, recuperating, with some opportunity to reflect.

I’m sure all of this “perfect” silliness is all in my head. I’m the one with the major expectations. I wanted to post yesterday about May Day. The fact that Lucas’s birthday is on Beltane has elevated this holiday to one of my very favorites. This is a busy, beautiful time of year. The flowers, the celebrations, the handsome, growing boy—to me they are all so life-affirming and glorious. I feel alive and in love with everything at this time of year. Normally.

But things don’t go perfectly, and the trouble with expectations as we all know is that they lead directly to disappointment. I’m learning to live with imperfection. It’s not easy for me because I. Want. Things. Just. So.  But I am learning to take pleasure in little things, year by year. It seems to be one of my great lessons in this life. And so I look. And I listen. And I learn a little more. And I find all the joy I can in all these many imperfect moments.

Happy May, my friends. I’ll be back here again soon. Until then, enjoy.

 

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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I'm Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2017 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    "Love doesn't just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new." —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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