Needle-Felted Harvest Mother

This is my best work to date. I made this needle-felted Harvest Mother as a donation for our school’s Country Store fundraiser, part of Sacramento Waldorf School’s Harvest Faire, which is being held this Saturday, October 23. Now that’s she’s done, I’m kind of sorry to have to give her up. She took about four hours to make, spread over several evenings. She is about 9 inches tall and the widest part of her skirt is about 7 inches across.

Needle-Felted Harvest Mother

I tried to gently stripe the colors to suggest agricultural rows. I tried to suggest that from her body flows all good things: crops of pumpkins, cabbages, and greens. I tried to use colors that bring to mind dried-up summer grains and tired fields ready for resting. I tried to suggest that she is the goddess of foods gathered in and the growing foods that will nourish us in time, in a never-ending cycle. I hope you can see the wind in her hair.

I admit, that’s a lot to suggest with a bunch of fluff!

Needle-Felted Harvest Mother Close-Up, Cornucopia in Arms

It’s amazing what a little needle can do! She is holding a cornucopia in her arms, can you tell?

Needle-Felted Harvest Mother Skirt Detail Needle-Felted Harvest Mother Skirt Detail

These are two details of her earthy skirt, with various crops growing on it. I love the pumpkin vines the most. I would have loved to make grapes and wheat, but I couldn’t seem to make the wool cooperate in that way for superfine details.

I’m ridiculously proud of this doll! I don’t really want to give her up, but she is going for a good cause. I just hope they sell her for a decent amount and that the person who buys her loves her as much as I do.

Colors of Autumn

Our expected high today is 103 degrees F. So, frankly, it doesn’t much feel like autumn at the moment. The trees are taking their sweet time turning colors. I’ve been having to broaden my perspective to catch the colors of the season.

CSA Delivery, First Day of Fall, Except for the Red Chard and Grapes We Already Ate

This is most of our Farm Fresh to You CSA delivery on the first day of fall, September 23. We had already eaten up all the red chard.

Liquidambar Turning Gold

The only color other than green on my liquidambar tree.

Equinox Wreath in Progress

Bits and bobs collected from the garden for our equinox wreath project. I’m in love with the orange rose hips.

Class Dragon and Dragon Eggs

The class dragon bread the third graders at Sacramento Waldorf School created in cooking class last Friday—see its ferocious teeth? Each child also made his own individual dragon bread. A few parents were asked to come and help with the baking. It took almost no time at all (because third graders are very competent) and my job was to take pictures.

Harvest Moon Cafe Decorations

Decorations for the Harvest Moon Cafe at the Golden Valley Charter School Harvest Faire. Our friend Parnassus worked very hard on this community event! We went last Saturday to support our dear friends who have recently changed schools, and to have some lovely harvest festival fun.


This isn’t a terrific photo of children in the petting zoo, but I’m drawn to it. Sweet little bunnies; sweet little hands.


Asher thought the duck and goose (Simon—a gander?) were especially interesting. They kept quacking and honking at him.

Asher Flushed and Pround after Having Faced the Angry Giant

This is pink-cheeked, proud Asher after he braved the lair of the sleeping Angry Giant and stole a jewel from his treasure box. It was hot the day of the Harvest Faire, too.


Red hanging lanterns helped suggest the fiery colors of autumn, even though our landscape doesn’t much show them yet.

We hope you are finding and enjoying the colors of autumn!

Turning of the Wheel

Late summer. Hot days, breezy nights—if we’re lucky. Even as we’re celebrating the fruits of the harvest—our glorious, ripe tomatoes, those massive zucchini squashes—we see signs of withering, of longer nights, of exhausted energy. Everything in my garden looks a little parched, a little fried, a little worn out. I don’t know about you, but for me this season is always one of change and a paradox of celebration and mourning.  It’s easy to see signs of wear and tear, of life well lived.

Canna Stripes

Striped canna leaves are looking a trifle scorched, even though this plant is largely in the shade and it has been a mild summer.

Tired Day Lilies

My day lilies have bloomed their hearts out for three solid months. Now they’re anemic. Their last, valiant effort is to produce seed pods.

Tired Hydrangea

The hydrangeas are papery and drying. They make lovely dried flowers, but I usually cannot bear to cut them.

Canna Seed Pods

My coral-colored cannas are doing a fine job of producing seed pods …

Canna Seeds

… from which these shiny, black, pea-sized seeds can be gathered. I’m hoping to propagate some this way. I’ll have to do more research.

Goldenrain Tree Seed Pods Turning Bronze

At the beginning of July, these seed “lanterns” from my goldenrain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) were a vivid chartreuse. Now they’re crackly and bronze.

Tired Roses

Rose hips are bulging in the sun. Few roses are braving the heat these days.

My Dying Birch Tree

I’m mourning the loss of three more birch tress that are slowly dying, just as three others did last year. I love these trees. They were a gift from my mother and Ian and I planted them the first year we owned this house. For a long time they were the only landscaping we could afford to do. I’ve watched these trees grow, season after season, through my bedroom window. When Asher was a tiny baby and I was sick and then recovering in bed, I watched the white branches get their leaves, which fluttered in the breeze day after day. I love the way their late-afternoon shadows dance on my window and blinds. For now, the lower branches still have leaves and from my window they’re still beautiful. They are dying from the top down.

These photos aren’t the most beautiful. They don’t show the garden in its best possible light. But I like them anyway. Change happens and the best we can ever do is to embrace it and find the beauty in it.

  • 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.

    © 2003–2018 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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