Sunday, November 28, 2010

Learn Knitting, Crochet, Spinning and Aromatherapy

Upcoming Syrendell Workshops!  Go to our website to register.

Handwork in the Dell Workshop - Beginning Knitting December 5, 2010
10:00am - 12:00pm
Davis, California
Price includes yarn used during the workshop, a pdf handout (emailed), and organic snacks. Knitting needles available to use. Spindles, knitting needles, crochet hooks, wool roving, yarns, fiber arts supplies, books, silks and other items available for purchase at a discount during the workshop. $30

Handwork in the Dell Workshop - Beginning Crochet
December 5, 2010
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Davis, California
Price includes yarn used during the workshop, a handout, and organic snacks. Crochet hooks available to use. Spindles, knitting needles, crochet hooks, wool roving, yarns, fiber arts supplies, books, silks and other items available for purchase at a discount during the workshop. $30

Aromatherapy in the Dell
December 20, 2010
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Fair Oaks, California
Price includes all materials (including oils used during the workshop), a pdf eBook, snacks and two aromatherapy products. Supplies, books and other items available for purchase at a discount during the workshop. $40 (Note...this is in Fair Oaks)


Handwork in the Dell - Beginning Spindle Spinning January 9, 2011
10:00am- 12:00pm
Davis, California
Price includes all spinning fiber used during the workshop, a pdf handout (emailed), and organic snacks. Spindles, knitting needles, crochet hooks, extra roving, fiber arts supplies, books, silks and other items available for purchase at a discount during the workshop. $30

Friday, November 26, 2010

Felting a Winter Queen Tutorial

O Winter Queen!
Thy crown silver and bright
Snowdrifts spiral from your cape

O Winter Queen!
Thy dress blue, purple, white
Long hair curls at the neck's nape

Give us light!
Wisdom and sight!
O Winter Queen
1.  White wool roving (corriedale, romney, other)
2.  White wool locks for hair
3.  Blue, purple, flesh-tone or other colors of wool roving
4. Angelina fiber for sparkle
5.  Tin foil
6.  Needle felting needles and foam base

Step One - Prep The Fiber
If needed, card your wool fiber so that it is easy to needlefelt. 

Step Two - Body  With one piece of white roving, wrap around and around until you have a long cylinder shape, a bit longer than the height that you want your queen to be.  Needlefelt until it feels connected.  The body does not have to be felted solid unless you prefer it that way.  Tie a piece of yarn at the neck and needlefelt the head portion into a more spherical shape.  Turn the body upside down and needlefelt the base to be a bit wider so that it will stand.  With a wisp of flesh-tone roving, wrap the head and gently needlefelt in place.

Step Three - Cape and Dress
Pull apart wisps of white roving for the cape.  Each piece will be needlefelted into the neck area, drape downward (lightly needlefelt to the body), and then swirl outward from the body in snowdrifts.  To make the ends spirl/swirl, pinch the end with your fingers and roll the end in one direction, then needlefelt to hold the shape.  Add as many of these cape pieces as you want around the sides and the back.  You might want the cape wool to be a different wool or shade of white than the body.  With wisps of purple and blue roving, spiral and layer along with white on the dress portion that shows in the front under the cape.  A circle brooch may be made by twisting slender pieces of roving and then spiraling around into a circle.  Add wisps of angelina fiber as you felt for an icy sparkle. Needlefelt until you feel that everything is attached and shaped the way that you like it.

Step Four - Hair
Wool locks are wonderful and provide instant curly hair!  Layer these on the top of the head and needlefelt into the head and neck and (carefully) into the cape, as needed.  In our pictures, we had slender strips of wool that we layered and twisted instead of locks.  You can also take roving, pull into strips, twist, and create your own hair.
Step Five - Crown
With tin foil, fashion a crown by cutting and folding to fit the head of the queen.  A tin foil scepter is another option.

Continue to needlefelt with a smaller needle, all of the finishing touches, including shaping hair, head, body and cape.  Make sure that the base is balanced so that she will stand on her own.  Now, place her in your nature table, showcasing the coming of Winter!  Sing songs, write stories and read poems to her and thank her for bringing wisdom and light during this darker time of the year.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Waldorf Watercolor Calendar

Based on requests from loyal customers, we are now offering Rick's wet-on-wet watercolor art in a beautiful wall-size calendar! 

Twelve of his original paintings are within the calendar, one for each month of the year.  We have a couple available in the Etsy shop, and can order more upon request.  Beautiful for homes, offices, and classrooms.

Click here to order.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Music at Home

Music is a large part of our lives.  We often get asked how we infuse music into our home. 

We do this every day!  We sing when we rise and we sing when we go to sleep.  We sing as we walk around the house.  At times, we sing together with the piano and work on harmony... everything from serious songs to silly stuff!

Taking lessons on the piano, guitar, harp and wind instruments occurs at certain ages.  The children select wind instruments based on interest, and Jennifer checks their fingers and embouchure.  Piano is learned first which gives a strong basis for understanding music theory and note-reading.  When possible, we perform together and in groups (band, jazz band, ensembles, recitals).  Next up is auditions for honor bands and attending music camp!

Watching professional performances, listening to CDs, and listening to Mommy and Daddy play and sing occurs regularly.  Sometimes a local symphony offers special shows for families!  We also watch each other perform at recitals and concerts.

Music theory and composition are part of what we learn at home as the children grow older.  Composition can be as simple as making up a song and singing it, to writing out the music for multiple instruments/voices. A basket full of percussion instruments (small drums, claves, afuche, guiro, triangle, bells, shakers, rattles, tambourines) and basic wind instruments (tin whistle, ocarina, kazoo) is a nice way to get everyone involved in music-making... even guests!  Learning the pentatonic and diatonic wood flutes and the lyre also occur and become a part of circle time, ritals and celebrations. 

There is no doubt that surrounding ourselves with music makes life more interesting...and brings us joy!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Winter Handwork eBook

Our Winter Handwork eBook is now available exclusively through Little Acorn LearningClick here to order!  The eBook is filled with handwork and artistic verses, four simple handwork projects including nature weaving, winter window stars, a crochet project for winter and winter felt crowns. Also includes a list of suggested resources for people interested introducing handwork to their children at home or school.

While you are there, check out Little Acorn Learning's afterschool guides and menus.  Wonderful!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Waldorf Postcards

Waldorf postcards are a beautiful addition to nature tables, seasonal spots, and homeschooling displays.  They also are wonderful gifts and can be used as actual postcards!

We are now featuring Rick's wet-on-wet watercolor paintings on postcards.  The front side is in color, and the back side is in black and white.  The first postcard available in our Etsy shop is "Fairy Tale" and taking orders for "Creation". Coming soon, "Four Seasons"!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Our Holisitic Approach to Winter Wellness

Autumn and Winter tend to bring on all sorts of interesting colds and illnesses.  We are not ones to go to the doctor or take medication.  Prevention is key, and when necessary, we will treat ourselves as naturally as possible.

1.  Juicing
At least twice per week, we drink "vruit"!  Using our Juiceman juicer, we create a blend of roots (beets, carrots), greens (kale, spinach, lettuces, chard), herbs (parsley), and fruit (apples, oranges).  It's an easy way to ensure that everyone gets vitamins and minerals from veggies and greens, especially if you have some picky eaters in the family!  Green smoothies made in the Vita-mix are fantastic, too, and contain the fiber content.

2.  Aromatherapy
We wash our hands with soap that has lavender, rosemary and tea tree oil in it after being in contact with other people or places.  A bath with 8 drops of tea tree oil is nice after a day around others who are sick.  Floors are mopped with water mixed with essential oils of lemon, lavender, tea tree and cypress.  Countertops are cleaned with a similar mixture.  Sheets are washed with a teaspoon of eucalyptus oil.  Clogged ears get a drop of lavender oil on a Q-tip.  Itchy throats drink a drop of cypress oil with water.  Stuffy noses inhale eucalyptus and lemon myrtle steam.  More ideas in our Aromatherapy eBook.

3.  Massage
When the children were babies and toddlers, we massaged them after every bath.  Jennifer is a certified educator of infant massage.  You can take a class to learn how to do this by finding a certified educator through Infant Massage USA.  As the children have grown, we massage backs, feet, ear/necks to sooth and comfort when not feeling well. 

4.  Chiropractic
Parents see the chiro (along with a massage) once per month.  Kids go during growth spurts.  Keeping the back in alignment prevents ear infections and many other issues.

5.  Exercise
Stretching, yoga, bike riding, dance lessons, fencing, gardening, playing at the park and more!
6.  Homeopathy & Flower Essences
Remedies by Uriel and flower essences by Bach are used at the first signs of any sort of illness.
7.  Rest
Sometimes we just need extra sleep, or a day at home on a weekend without running around to rest and recharge. 

8.  Music
Playing instruments and singing make us feel great!  Regularly listening to and playing music feeds our minds, hearts and souls.

Overall, we see wellness holistically.  We know that leading a healthy lifestyle prevents illness.  We also recognize that fevers and certain illnesses are sometimes important for us to experience.  As a result of incorporating natural therapies, we can go for years without seeing a doctor's office.  We'd love to hear how others approach wellness as a family!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Top Recommended Waldorf Books and Replay of Waldorf 101 - Basics of Homeschooling

Wondering where to start in Waldorf Homeschooling? Jennifer gave a practical 7-step system in her presentation at The Waldorf Connection this week. You get to "watch" the replay while you listen. Excellent resources and inspiration!

Sample Main Lesson Book Pages Featured in the teleseminar 

 "Waldorf 101- Basics of homeschooling"- Jennifer Tan of Syrendell.  Replay: click here.  Replay available until Friday, November 12, 2010.

We now have a "Getting Started" section in our Amazon bookshop for Waldorf homeschoolers!  Take a peek at our top recommended books by clicking here

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Waldorf Connection Fall Series Is Here!

Sign up to attend the Fall Series of workshops online at The Waldorf Connection!  You must be registered on their site.  If you have not registered in the past, click here (it's free!).

Tuesday, November 9
David Sewell McCann: “Intuitive StoryTelling”

Wednesday, November 10
Jennifer Tan: “Waldorf Basics- get a crash course of Waldorf 101”

Monday, November 15
Neale Donald Walsch: “Bringing New Spirituality to our Children”

Tuesday, November 16
Lynn Jerico: “The 4-Part Human”

Wednesday, November 17
Katrina Kension: “Mindful Parenting for Busy Moms”

Thursday, November 18
Melisa Nielsen: “The 9-year Change”

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Making a Hat and Shrug from a Cashmere Sweater

What to do with our favorite sweaters that not longer fit or have holes?  Felt them and turn them into new clothes!

1.  Wash your sweater in the machine with hot water.  Leave a pair of jeans inside to help the fibers felt well.  Dry in the dryer.

2.  Lay your sweater on the floor.  Look at where the seams are, and if there are any holes that need to be worked around.

3.  For a hat, the ribbed bottom will become the headband of the hat.  If you are making this for a child, measure the circumference of the head where the headband of the hat would hit. Make the width an inch larger than this.

4. Cut the hat piece from the back or front of the sweater.  In this picture, we chose the back because the front had a pocket on it.  Always make the first 4 inches or so straight, and then curve (or upward to a point for a gnome hat) as you cut.  Better to cut it too big and sew/trim down later.

5.  Sew inside out, creating the shape of the hat that suits you.
6.  For a shrug, cut the front and back up to where the arms begin.  Be careful not to cut the seams that hold the arms together.  In this picture, our sweater has a hood, but you can make a shrug without a hood.  Or, you can sew on a fabric hood if your sweater doesn't have one.  Turn cut ends under and sew or surge.
Now, make some lavender/cedarwood sachets and put them with your new items to prevent more holes from appearing!  Keep the extra cut scraps to make doll clothes, finger puppets, felted balls or cat toys.