Monday, November 26, 2007

A Children's Christmas Fair

This past Saturday morning, we braved the chilly weather, like we did last year, to attend the Vancouver Waldorf School's Christmas Fair. A most memorable activity at this wonderful fair from last year was visiting the "Cookie House" to select a decorated gingerbread cookie from amongst many all hung on curtains from ceiling to floor in a small, narrow, dimly-lit, ambient space. We waited in line to experience the wonderful Cookie House again this year, complete with an elf to guard the house, as well as a fairy, to assist with the cookie selection. As you can see, R knew his immediate plans for his cookie upon leaving the "house".

There were many beautiful wreaths and table centerpieces being created all around us.....
...and new experiences to be had.... candle dipping!!!

in another dimly-lit, but magical room decorated with winter scenes, lots of stars and tiny lights...

...and warm, nurturing teachers that made all the activities at this fair so meaningful. D really got into making and dipping his own candle, deciding on his own how many more times he wanted to walk around the table to dip his candle into the wax pots.

Other cool activities included puppet plays, silk painting, visiting a winter wonderland and woodland pond, woodworking, and a variety of musical offerings around the school. And what's a Christmas fair without a "Marketplace", which was so crowded that I barely looked for fear of losing the boys. I did, however, pick up my felt order from Natalie of Bear Dance Crafts who came down for the fair from Kaslo. She offers good quality wool felt in lots of great colours for those of you who are interested.

Here is D's beautifully fragrant candle finished and wrapped with paper tissue and a lovely poem. The poem should read as below, but with the last line, perhaps, intentionally and appropriately left out:

A candle is but a simple thing,
It starts with just a bit of string,
But dipped and dipped with patient hand,
It gathers wax upon the strand,
Until complete and snowy white,
It gives at last a lovely sight.

Life seems so like that bit of string,
Each deed we do a simple thing,
Yet day by day if on life's strand,
We work with patient heart and hand,
It gathers joy makes dark days bright,
And gives at last a lovely light.

How we love this fair for its wonderful, meaningful experiences that appeal to all our senses and the child within us!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Show and Tell: Fish Hat

I thought my post today would focus on a favourite and much used FO (finished object) from the past four years. When I took a renewed interest in knitting after D, my first son, was born, I also got hooked on eBay in a very bad way. Not only was I nursing in front of the computer, I got into bidding wars for things I really didn't need or have a vision for at the time-- other than just winning the auction, of course. I didn't go overboard on a regular basis, but when I did, I'd be scratching my head afterwards, wondering what I had gotten myself into. So, what does this all have to do with the Fish Hat, as modelled by R above? Well, all the cotton yarn (with the exception of the lime-coloured yarn) used to make Zoe Mellor's Fish Hat, (from her book Animal Knits) came from such an ebay auction. It was a fairly big lot of new, still-in-ball bands cotton yarn (20+ balls) that I had won, all discontinued machine-washable Bernat Cot'n Soft yarn in a variety of colors, but I think it cost me about $75 Canadian total after the Canada Post guy collected $20 more for some duties upon delivery. I was on maternity at the time, so I really couldn't afford to spend frivolously, but now that I reflect on this impulse "buy", I really did make some good use out of all the yarn, which encouraged me to tackle colorwork in my knitting and experiment with different color combinations for a number of different hats. Mind you, weaving all the ends for the Fish Hat was no picnic, but the end result was well worth it. And look, after four plus years, the hat is still holding up pretty nicely, despite the machine-washed look of it now.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bamboo Love and Steve!

I stumbled across some great "finds" at HTnaturals today after picking up lunch at Fujiya for my little guy before his preschool. I have always intended to pay this eco-friendly store a visit, as they also carried some hemp yarn, but it was only in very limited colors, so it was just not a big enough "draw" for me to make it in. But boy, was I thrilled to have made the time to visit today. Still no bigger selection of hemp yarn, but great basic clothes with simple lines, great rich colors, nice little details, and best of all, clothes made with hemp and organic fabrics! I picked up some great deals in their sample baskets-- two super soft bamboo/organic cotton shirts (at five bucks each!!!) that would be great for biking and everyday wear. Bamboo is sooo comfy! I love it, because it has an anti-bacterial property in the fabric that doesn't require the use of chemical antibacterial agents. It's no wonder there are so many new bamboo sock yarns out on the market today. So, if it weren't for my time crunch to feed R and get him to preschool, I think I would've been shopping there all afternoon. I must add, if you are a lucky size 10--that is HTnaturals' primary sample size, you'd be buying up a lot of their five-buck deals. Sorry guys, I forgot to look at the primary sample size for you.

Here's what I'm working on now...... a cat pattern from Denyse Schmidt's book, Denyse Schmidt Quilts: 30 Colorful Quilt and Patchwork Projects. I got my hands on some upholstery fabric sample books for next to nothing at the fabulous Ruby Dog's Art House and decided that I had to make "Steve" (or "Heart" as D calls him).